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Grib Mine Projects Higher Sales in 2017

Nov 6, 2017 9:32 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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 Full-year diamond production from the Grib mine in Russia is on track to rise 16% in 2017, contributing to an overall increase in sales from the operation.

The mine’s output is expected to reach 4.4 million carats in 2017, compared with 3.8 million carats last year, Alexey Genkin — general manager of the mine’s marketing unit, Grib Diamonds — told Rapaport News during a recent visit to the Israel Diamond Exchange, as part of the bourse's drive to enhance its rough trading platform. The plan is to raise production to 4.9 million carats in 2018, he said in the interview.

Meanwhile, just like last year, sales volume has mirrored production, with prices up 4.5% since January, he noted.

The Grib asset changed hands earlier this year, when Lukoil sold it for $1.45 billion to Otkritie Holdings, a Russian holding company that maintained the business’s sales structure. While 5% of production remains in Russia for sale by the government, the remainder is exported to Antwerp, where Grib Diamonds is located.

Although Genkin expressed some concern that polished inventory levels were higher than normal as a result of the strong rough market earlier in the year, he observed that the rough sector was currently in a quieter period due to India’s Diwali vacation, which should help alleviate some of that pressure.

Still, he continued, the company’s sales remain slightly higher than last year, and he is satisfied with ongoing demand for Grib’s production.

“We have a healthy group of core customers that apply for goods each month,” he said. “Stock levels may be high, but we see clients with a strong customer base of their own, paying competitive prices even in this environment.”

Grib holds 10 auctions of its regular goods during the year, as well as two auctions of “special” diamonds, or those weighing at least 10.8 carats.

While viewings typically take place in Antwerp ahead of online bidding, the company is showing its specials in Israel this month for the first time, from November 19 to 22. Genkin was in Israel in October to make final preparations for the auction. 

The specials will then go to Antwerp for viewing from November 27 to December 1 and the sale will take place on December 4 in Moscow, in accordance with Russian law for special sizes. Grib’s next auction of regular goods is on November 17, following viewings in Antwerp.
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, diamonds, grib, grib diamonds, lukoil, mining, Rapaport, Rough Diamonds, Russia
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