Russian diamond miner Alrosa's rough diamond sales in May continued the downward trajectory they have been on all year, though the decline was less steep than in prior months. Rough diamond sales fell by 6% year over year to $261 million, and declined 17% compared to last month as the market enters its seasonal slowdown. For the year to date (Jan.-May), the mining giant's rough diamond sales have plummeted by 30% to $1.565 billion from $2.256 billion a year ago.
Polished diamond sales fared no better, falling by 52% to $5 million from $10.5 million in May 2018. For the year to date, Alrosa has sold $24.1 million of polished diamonds, representing a 44% decline from the $43.3 million sold during the same period a year ago. “We see the market entering its seasonal slowdown phase," said Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organization ALROSA, member of the Executive Committee. "The India’s cutting and polishing sector is still facing a challenge of financing, which holds back the growth in demand for diamond products."
Speaking to the situation on the market, he noted that "The retailers’ stock level remains quite high but keeps declining," which suggests the manufacturers will slow their activities as they wait for stock to clear at the retail level, adding "this process will take some time." One combination of factors points to improvement, as consumer demand in major markets remains robust as while diamond production is expected to decrease. "These factors give us the reasons to expect that the stock level in the system will gradually get back to normal,” Agureev, concludes.