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Alrosa's diamond production increased while De Beers' decreased, but both companies reported revenue loss
Alrosa's diamond production increased while De Beers' decreased, but both companies reported revenue loss

Revenue slumps for big diamond producers

Two major diamond producers have taken a hit to revenue in the first half of 2015, while new regulatory developments within the international diamond sector are underway.

De Beers majority shareholder, Anglo American, has posted its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, which showed a 21 per cent drop in revenue to US$3.8 billion (AU$5.2 b). Rough diamond sales also decreased 21 per cent to US$2.7 billion (AU$3.7 b).

The negative results were unsurprising given the production figures released for the London-based diamond mining company earlier this month.

As previously reported by Jeweller, De Beers’ diamond production in the first half of 2015 declined 3 per cent to 15.6 million carats compared to the previous corresponding period. Consolidated sales volumes fell 27 per cent to 13.3 million carats in the six months, with rough diamond sales volumes down 26 per cent to 14 million carats.

Russian diamond producer Alrosa also recorded a loss in revenue in the first half of 2015. The company sold 18 million carats for about US$2.1 billion (AU$2.9 b), representing a 22 per cent decline in revenue and a 15 per cent decrease in diamond volumes sold for the period.

Despite this, diamond production increased 13 per cent, which included 9.6 million carats produced in the second quarter – a 20 per cent increase from the 8 million carats recorded in the previous year. The producer’s rough diamond prices were also said to have fallen 6 per cent due to a “slowdown” in the diamond market.

In other De Beers news, the company has announced it will enter a 10-year sales contract with the Government of the Republic of Namibia. The new contract – said to be the longest contract period ever agreed between the two parties – allows the government to independently sell 15 per cent per annum of the diamonds produced by the partners’ joint venture, Namdeb Holdings.

Regulation and consumer confidence

Meanwhile, the Indian Government’s Central Board of Excise and Customs has announced that cut and polished diamonds imported by three laboratories for the purposes of grading or certification and re-export will be exempt from customs duty.

The laboratories involved include the Mumbai branch of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the Indian Diamond Institute and the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research India.

It has been suggested that this exemption would make the laboratories attractive to international diamantaires seeking to certify their polished diamonds at competitive prices.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has also released new international guidelines on the nomenclature intended to be used by those involved in the buying and selling of natural diamonds, treated diamonds, synthetic diamonds, composite diamonds and diamond imitations.

The international standard – ISO 18323:2015, Consumer confidence in the diamond industry – is designed to provide clarity to traders and maintain consumer confidence in the diamond industry as a whole.

More reading
De Beers’ production and sales decline
India deals with diamond ‘crisis’
Industry tackles diamond over-grading head-on
Diamond challenges brought to the fore

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