Diamond Sales Surged 49% for Alrosa in 2021

SourcingJan 26, 2022

Diamond Sales Surged 49% for Alrosa in 2021

Together, rough and polished sales topped $4 billion, fueled by consistent consumer demand for diamond jewelry.

Alrosa’s 2021 rough and polished diamond sales were up 49 percent year-over-year, reaching $4.17 billion. Diamond production was up 8 percent on the year, totaling 32.4 million carats. (Photo courtesy of Alrosa)
Moscow—Both sales and production rose for Alrosa in 2021, driven by continuing consumer demand for diamonds. 

The mining company reported late last week that fourth-quarter sales of rough and polished diamonds amounted to $895 million ($844 million in rough and $51 million in polished), down 27 percent from $1.22 billion in the prior-year period. 

Alrosa attributed the drop to being up against a strong Q4 2020—diamond sales picked up midway through 2020 after the initial COVID lockdowns eased—and some December sales shifting to January. 

For the full year, sales were up 49 percent, topping $4 billon, including $3.98 billion in rough sales and $192 million in polished.

In volume terms, fourth-quarter diamonds sales were down 45 percent year-over-year to 9.4 million carats due the strength of Q4 2020 and Alrosa having “minimum levels” of rough diamond inventory available for sale.

Industry analyst Edahn Golan observed on social media that high demand coupled with lower-than-usual production resulted in Alrosa’s 2021 sales and inventories nearly aligning, which is “uncharacteristic” for the miner.

For the full year, diamond sales rose 42 percent to 45.5 million carats, including 1.4 million carats purchased at Gokhran auctions and 11.7 million carats from accumulated inventories. Gem-quality diamonds accounted for 67 percent of total sales, down from 72 percent and 69 percent in 2019 and 2018, respectively. 

Revenue per-carat from gem-quality diamonds was $124/carat, up 36 percent year-over-year. For the full year, revenue per carat totaled $128, up 17 percent due to higher prices and changes in the sales mix.

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Alrosa’s diamond production rose too, both in the fourth quarter and on the year.

Fourth-quarter production was up 29 percent due to ore processing volume growth at Severalmaz and Aikhal, and a higher grade at the underground International diamond mine.

For the year, production was up 8 percent, reaching 32.4 million carats, due primarily to the V. Munskoye and Nyurba divisions.

Commenting on the market, Alrosa noted that consumer sentiment remained strong during the holiday season, with reports suggesting U.S. jewelers experienced their best holiday season in years

Polished diamond prices rose in November and December on the back of stable orders from the United States while demand for rough diamonds is greater than the supply, which is a “boon” for rough prices, Alrosa said.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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