Alrosa diamond sales drop in October, but outlook remains positive

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world's top diamond producer by output in carats, said Tuesday that sales of rough gems dropped slightly in October, when compared to the previous month, though polished diamond sales remained unchanged.

Rough gems sales totalled $430.8 million in October, slightly less than the $435 million fetched in September, Alrosa said. Polished diamond sales came to $8.2 million.

De Beers, the world’s top producer by value, also reported Tuesday a drop in rough diamond sales —the lowest amount so this year.

But diamond producers are used to the up and downs in sales as they know the industry is seasonal, reaching its peak from November through to February.

Alrosa, which together with De Beers controls almost two-thirds of the diamond market, said earlier it intends to recover 1.7 million carats of diamonds a year from its Verkhne-Munskoye mine, which is slated to begin production in 2018.

The construction of that mine, which has 38.3 million carats of booked reserves, is part of a long-term development program that aims to increase Alrosa’s diamond production to 41 million carats by 2021.