Diamond Sales Surged 49% for Alrosa in 2021
Together, rough and polished sales topped $4 billion, fueled by consistent consumer demand for diamond jewelry.
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.
ALROSA tends to hold inventories that are double its sales. This allows it to build consistent assortments.— Edahn Golan (@edahn) January 21, 2022
In 2021, ALROSA’s sales and inventories were near fully aligned. This is a result of a lower than usual production against very high demand. Very uncharacteristic. pic.twitter.com/luE5in2PCi
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.
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.
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