Alrosa reported the results for its diamond production during the first quarter of 2019. The company mined and processed 7.8 million carats, an increase of 18 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018. Alrosa sold 10.6 million carats for $1billion, an increase of 19 percent for the quarter. The average diamond recovery per ton was 1.23 carat.
Of the 10.6 million carats sold, some 7.9 million were gem-quality stones. This amount constituted a 50 percent increase â€“ in year-on-year terms â€“ as diamond manufacturers were restocking their supplies of small- and medium-size rough diamonds. This is an important indicator that the market for small and medium-sized rough may be climbing out of the depression it has experienced during the past months. However, the prices paid for these gem-quality diamonds fell 19% in the first quarter to $123/carat, compared to 2018. Alrosa related the fall to the relatively larger share of small-size diamonds in total sales and the lower prices realized for medium-sized diamonds in particular. Still, in the first quarter of 2019, Alrosaâ€™s diamond price index was down by 3.1 percent.
Commenting on the market's performance, Alrosa said that in Q1 of 2019, the diamond market had performed weaker due to lower jewelry sales during the holiday season, nting that "all the key consumer markets for diamond jewelry had seen a â€œmixed performance in Q1 2019."
Alrosa also noted that "India's cutting and polishing industry had experienced temporary liquidity problems after local banks toughened loan security and repayment terms."