By Michelle Graff
Alrosa’s 2019 diamond sales, both rough and polished, totaled $3.34 billion, down from $4.51 billion last year. (Photo courtesy of Alrosa Group)
Moscow—Sales picked up in December for Alrosa Group, though it was not enough to turn the tide in a tough year for diamond producers.

In December, Alrosa’s rough and polished sales totaled $363.8 million. Rough diamond sales were $352.1 million while polished diamond sales amounted to the remaining $11.6 million.

It was an 11 percent year-over-year increase.

But Alrosa still finished the year with a 26 percent drop in sales.

The diamond miner’s totaled rough and polished sales in January-December 2019 totaled $3.34 billion—$3.27 billion in rough and $64.7 million in polished—down from $4.51 billion last year, $4.41 billion in rough and $95.3 million in polished diamonds.

Deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said December was a continuation of the stabilization of diamond demand first noted in the second half of the third quarter, but it was not enough for a full-year turnaround.

This, combined with miners like Alrosa and De Beers Group holding back goods, has helped to restore the market balance.

He explained: “Cutters and retailers entered 2019 with large stocks of goods, but their expectations of strong demand did not match the reality.

“Along with a number of other factors, this triggered a massive destocking while also hitting the demand for rough diamonds. As a result, 2019 saw sales by diamond producers drop by almost a third from the previous year.”

Alrosa’s main rival, De Beers, saw 2019 sales decline 26 percent year-over-year, from $5.4 billion to $4.04 billion.

Agureev also noted consumer demand for diamonds is currently “robust” and preliminary holiday sales figures indicate growth, in some regions.

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