Dominion Diamond Corporation has released its results for the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year for its Ekati and Diavik Diamond Mines, which showed that sales had fallen.
First quarter diamond sales were $178.3 million compared to $187.7 million in the first quarter of the prior year – a 5-percent decline. Sales from Ekati rough totaled $105.1 million compared to $127.4 million over the same period in the prior year. Sale of Diavik rough totaled $73.1 million compared to $60.3 million in the first quarter of the 2016 fiscal year.
Dominion held two rough diamond sales during the quarter, with the company having lowered prices by 5 percent in the January sale, in line with market prices. The company plans to hold three rough diamond sales in the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year.
Overall carat production for the first quarter was 34 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2016. During the quarter, the Ekati Diamond Mine recovered 1.1 million carats, an increase from the 800,000 carats recovered over the same period in the prior year.
Dominion said rough diamond market conditions had improved, with manufacturers having restocked inventories following a positive end to 2015. It added that the US jewelry market was a strong driver of demand growth during the period and that despite uncertain economic growth, sales in mainland China remained reasonably stable. The Hong Kong and Macau markets, however, faced difficult conditions. The continued strength of the US dollar was also considered a suppressant to the performance of other major retail markets, despite some resilience in local currency.