After seeing output of manufactured diamonds drop 26% in 2008, and zero purchases of rough diamonds in January, Smolensk Kristall, Russia's largest diamond cutter said that this month it is seeing "some positive movement," according to a company source.
Full year diamond production for 2008 amounted to a value of $300 million; that was a drop of 26% on the 2007 result of $404.4 million. It was just half, however, of the $600 million the Kristall management had originally targeted for the year.
A brief statement by state-owned Kristall's chief executive, Maxim Shkadov, reported by a Russian news agency last month, indicated that the company bought small volumes of rough diamonds for the first quarter, but has not yet committed to purchasing for the second quarter.
A company source told PolishedPrices that "quite small amounts" of rough diamonds were bought from Alrosa; from imports; from the Nizhne-Lenskoye diamond mining company, mining independently in the Sakha republic; and from state stockpile agency, Gokhran. About one in four diamond cutters have been furloughed for the present, Shkadov has acknowledged.