Sourcing

Supply Constraints Impact Alrosa’s January Sales

SourcingFeb 15, 2022

Supply Constraints Impact Alrosa’s January Sales

The mining company said demand for diamond jewelry continues to be strong, but its sales are “capped by current production levels.”

2022_Alrosa Mir mine.jpg
A shot of the open-pit mine at the Mir pipe in Yakutia, one of Alrosa’s mining sites. The company sold $325 million in diamonds in January and said it is taking steps to get more rough diamonds on the market for future sales. (Photo courtesy of Alrosa)
Moscow—Alrosa’s second half 2021 supply problems have continued into 2022, impacting January sales and prompting the miner to take steps to get more rough diamonds onto the market.

The company announced last week its January sales totaled $325 million, $315 million in rough and $10 million in polished.

That is a 24 percent decline from $430 million in January 2021 but up 28 percent from $254 million in December, with Alrosa noting that some December sales shifted to January.

In a statement, Deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said midstream demand for diamonds continued in January following a successful holiday season in key markets. One early report for the U.S. market indicated jewelry sales rose 32 percent year-over-year between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 and were up 26 percent when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

But Alrosa continues to grapple with supply problems caused by a confluence of factors, including the increased demand for diamond jewelry in the last two years and mines that have faced various COVID-related obstacles. 

“Sales have been capped by current production levels, similar to the situation seen in the second half of 2021,” Agureev said. “Amid limited diamond supply globally, Alrosa continues with its measures to quickly respond to market demand by accelerating pre-sale diamond processing.” 

 Related stories will be right here … 

Alrosa also announced last week it will allow long-term contract holders, which constitute most of its customer base, the chance to buy rough diamonds ahead of schedule though still within their allocations.

The company said it again plans to buy diamonds at the Gokhran auction this month (Gokhran is Russia’s state-owned repository of precious gems and metals) and to hold additional tenders between trading sessions, making the rough diamonds most sought after by cutters available as soon as possible. 

“The first quarter of the year is traditionally a period of active rough diamond purchases, as cutters seek to stock up after a holiday season in retail,” Agureev said. “The high season of 2021 was one of the most successful ones in the entire history, as we see robust demand from our customers underpinned by real orders.”
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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