MOSCOW – Russian diamond producer Alrosa's third-quarter production fell 24% year on year but was up 62% from the previous quarter to 9.2-million carats, it said on Friday.
Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds, said coronavirus-hit demand started to recover in August but it added a note of caution on longer-term prospects.
"The diamond industry began to show signs of improvement. It is, however, too early to talk about a full recovery before we see the year's key figures – the US holiday season sales," the state-controlled company said in a statement.
Sales of rough and polished diamonds were at $589-million in the third quarter, a near-sevenfold increase on the previous three months but down 4% year on year.
Alrosa added that it had reduced prices while maintaining the profitability level required by the diamond-polishing industry. Its third-quarter diamond price index fell 7% from the previous quarter.
Its diamond stockpiles, meanwhile, were 30.6 million carats at the end of September, up 16% from the end of June.
Alrosa is in talks with the government about sale of some of its diamonds to state precious metals and gems repository Gokhran.