Alrosa CEO says virus outbreak affects 2020 sales outlook – by Mariaan Webb ( – March 11, 2020)

The outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, Covid-19, has weighed on diamond demand in February and will negatively impact on Alrosa’s sales outlook for 2020, CEO Sergey Ivanov said on Wednesday.

The Russian miner reported rough and polished diamond sales of $346.4-million in February, down 14% on January’s sales. “Though our January and February sales were healthy, currently we are seeing a decrease in demand,” Ivanov said in a transcript of a conference call, published on its website.

Alrosa had given its customers additional flexibility in terms of sales in March, he said, adding that the group would have to wait and see how the situation played out in April and May.

Most of Alrosa’s sales are done through long-term contracts and the group is less dependent on auctions. It has, however, moved some auctions to other locations, as a result of Covid-19. For example, the Hong Kong auction was moved to Israel.

As for the oil price situation and the currency impact, Ivanov said that a lower oil price would have a positive impact on consumers’ disposable income, particularly in the US, which would be a positive factor for diamond jewellery demands.

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