Rough diamonds sales rose to 7.1 million carats in October through December. This compares with 4.9 million carats of sales in the third quarter, when Alrosa had to stockpile 58% of its production in response to weak demand and prices. The announcement comes on the heels of De Beers's news saying that it sold $540 million of diamonds in its first sale of the year, or twice its last sale's level. Quarterly production, however, dropped 26% to 8.61 million carats in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months, Alrosa said. Total output in 2015 climbed to 38.3 million carats, while sales were only 30 million carats, the miner said.
Like most commodities, diamond prices weakened last year, dropping 18% — the steepest fall in seven years. As a consequence, the two major diamond miners —De Beers and Alrosa —cut output and sales, helping the market recover. Alrosa’s positive news comes on the heels of De Beers announcement that it sold $540 million of diamonds in its first sale of the year, which was twice its last sale's level. Africa-focused Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) said on Monday it believed prices have probably bottomed after the supply cuts by De Beers and Alrosa last year and there was an opportunity for them to rise over the next 6 to 12 months.