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Russia Outshines Botswana as World’s Top Diamond Producer in 2014

Global Output Jumps 4% Last Year to $14.5B

Aug 25, 2015 10:16 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Global diamond output grew 4 percent in value last year to $14.5 billion as the average price per carat jumped 8 percent to $116.17 and Russia displaced Botswana as the world’s largest producer, according to data published by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). In terms of volume, production fell by 4 percent to 124.778 million carats.

Russia, which has traditionally played second fiddle to Botswana in world diamond output rankings, was the largest producer in terms of value and volume, as per KPCS annual data. The average price of the nation’s total diamond crop, which largely comes from ALROSA’s mining activity, surged 19 percent to $97.47 per carat as the value of precious stones catapulted 20 percent to $3.73 billion and volume edged up 1 percent to 38.303 million carats.

The average price in Botswana, where mines owned by De Beers are the predominant producers, slid 5 percent to $147.84 per carat because the growth in value of the nation’s diamond output flat-lined at $3.65 billion even as volume advanced 6 percent to 23.187 million carats.

Notable Producers

Canada was ranked third as its production value increased 5 percent to $2 billion and volume grew 13 percent to 12.011 million carats. The average price, however, declined 7 percent to $166.78 per carat.

Angola’s production rose 13 percent to $1.32 billion as volume grew 2 percent to 8.791 million carats, while South Africa rounded out the top five with production up 3 percent to $1.22 billion although volume declined 1 percent to 7.430 million carats.

Among the other notable producers was Zimbabwe, which saw the value of its diamond crop tumble 56 percent to $238.6 million along with volume that nosedived 55 percent to 4.771 million carats. Namibia’s output slumped 15 percent to $1.16 billion even though volume grew 14 percent to 1.917 million carats.

Most Expensive

Lesotho produced the world’s highest-priced diamonds as the average price sky-rocketed 69 percent to $990.18 per carat. In contrast, the mean price of precious stones in Namibia, which had the second highest average price, fell 25 percent to $602.57 per carat.

Total export of rough diamonds by all Kimberley Process member states rose 6 percent to $58.12 billion and aggregate imports also increased 5 percent to $56.63 billion.

India, the world’s largest diamond manufacturing center, was the largest importer of rough in 2014. While imports to India jumped 8 percent in value terms to $17.21 billion, the volume of imports fell 4 percent 153.609 million carats. The European Union (EU), which is counted as a Kimberley Process member state and includes Belgium among other countries, was the world’s top exporter of rough diamonds. The EU shipped out 116.017 million carats of precious stones with a value of $15.71 billion during the period under review, a 10 percent decline from 2013. A similar value of rough was imported during the year.

Middle East

Other notable trading centers included Israel, which imported 14.624 million carats valued at $4.87 billion and saw its average price advance 18 percent to $333.11 per carat. The nation exported 14.242 million carats valued at $3.92 billion, or $274 per carat.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued to post consistent growth, with imports up 16 percent to $5.91 billion and exports rising 14 percent to $8.31 billion. The UAE’s imports achieved a price of $86.69 per carat, while exports garnered $124.37 per carat, according to annual data published by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
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