Jul 10, 2019

KP Statistics: Global Rough Production Declines in 2018; Russia Leading Producer, India Largest Importer

The Annual Global Summary report of the trade in rough diamonds in 2018 released recently by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) indicates a dip in global rough diamond production both in terms of volume as well as value, as compared to a year earlier.

KP reported that global production in 2018 stood at 148.43 million carats (2017: 150.86 mn cts) in volume terms and US$ 14.47 billion (2017: US$ 15.87 billion) in value terms. The average price per carat too declined to US$ 97.46 per carat (2017: US$ 105.20 per ct).

Russia reconfirmed its position as the world’s largest producer country of rough diamonds both in terms of volume and value, while India, the largest manufacturing centre, understandably retained its position as the largest importer of rough also in terms of both volume and value.

The Russian Federation which produced 43.2 mn carats valued at US$ 3.98 bn saw its share rising from 28.25% in the previous year to 29.08% during the last calendar year in volume terms and from 25.91% in 2017 to 27.54% in value terms in 2018.

Botswana regained its position as the second largest producing country (3rd largest in volume terms in 2017) with 24.38 mn cts valued at US$ 3.54 bn. The country’s share in global production too rose from 15.22% in 2017 to 16.42% in 2018 in volume terms and from 20.98% in the previous year to 24.43% in value terms during last year.

Canada, the second largest producing country in volume terms last year, slipped to third position with 23.19 mn cts valued at US$ 2.10 bn (2017: 23.23 mn cts at US$ 2.06 bn).

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Australia were the 4th and 5th largest producing countries by volume, while South Africa and Angola ranked 4th and 5th in terms of value. Significantly, Australia’s production dropped from 17.1 mn cts in 2017 to 14.1 mn cts in 2018, a trend that will continue over the next few years as production at the Argyle mine winds down.

Among the larger producers, Namibia (US$ 469.36), Lesotho (US$ 291.48) and Sierra Leone (US$ 211.79) rank at the top in terms of per carat prices realised, with Angola (US$ 145.53), Botswana (US$ 145.00) and South Africa (US$ 123.97) being above the global average. Rough from the Russian Federation yielded a per carat price of US$ 92.29.

India (which imported 168.1 mn carats at US$ 17.08 bn) was the top importer of rough by volume and value, but both figures were lower than the previous year (2017: 195.1 mn carats at US$ 18.98 bn). The country’s share dipped marginally to 39.61% (2017: 39.80%) of global rough imports in volume terms, while in value terms the country’s share dipped to 35.23% this year as against 38.07% last year.

India is quite ahead of second placed importer, European Union, in terms of both volume and value – the latter having a 30.47% and 25.26% share in terms of volume and value respectively.