Alrosa’s July sales slumped to their lowest point in three years, as weakness in the rough market continued to impact demand.
The Russian miner’s total sales slid 50% to $170.5 million for the month, it reported Friday. Rough-diamond sales, which account for the bulk of the company’s revenue, dropped 51% to $164.6 million. Polished sales increased 11% to $5.9 million. Previously, the lowest monthly total was $176.3 million in December 2016, according to Rapaport records. Alrosa has released its results every month since August 2016.
The decline resulted from an oversupply in the midstream, as manufacturers were unable to offload stones due to weak demand. “This factor was exacerbated by [the] low availability of credit facilities…in the midstream [and] trade tensions between [the] US and China,” explained Evgeny Agureev, director of Alrosa’s United Selling Organization.
Sales for the first seven months of the year fell 35% to $1.98 billion, with rough sales down 34% to $1.95 billion. Revenue from polished diamonds plunged 40% to $33.1 million for the January-to-July period.
However, Alrosa predicted an improvement in the situation as inventories even out.
“Recent statistics on the net imports of rough diamonds to India and net export of polished diamonds [out of that country] suggest that the diamond market is gradually coming back to supply-demand balance,” Agureev added.
Image: Rough-diamond sorting. (Alrosa)