Russia's Alrosa, the world's largest diamond miner by volume, is bullish about India after registering sales of over $2 billion directly to the country and indirectly to clients with Indian capital in the first 10 months of 2018, a top company official said.
"For the last 10 months this year we sold altogether more than $2 billion directly to India and indirectly to clients with Indian capital," director of the company's sales division, United Selling Organisation, Evgeny Agureev, told IANS in an interview here.
At present, 51 per cent of the company's sales, directly and indirectly, involves India.
"The total sales volume (in money terms) of our company is about $4.4. billion. Half of this amount is linked with India. We are selling to India more than $2 billion of goods. It means that the share is big and important for us," said Agureev.
India as a "very important segment" for the diamond industry, as 75-90 per cent of rough diamonds are now polished in the country.
The partially state-owned company as a group accounts for 29 per cent, or almost a third, of global rough diamond production in terms of carats. Agureev said the outlook on India is "positive" amid hopes that the country would get over the "negative trends" caused by the declining value of the rupee as also the strengthening of the banking regulations following banking frauds.
"The outlook on India is positive. We hope that next year we will see more stability in our industry, and specially, in India, because this quarter we can see that there are some negative trends like currency devaluation (depreciation) in India, or regulations in the banking sector. They are going to be stronger and that has an influence on the mid-sized manufacturers.
"Also we see some seasonability these days, and it is usually the September, October and November period when we have low trading and manufacturing activity," he said.
Agureev declined to provide any projectons on the growth of the company's business in India.
However, he said the company would not significantly increase the volumes it was providing to India, "because finally, in accordance with our strategy, we are going to keep the barest allocation between main countries like India, China and Israel".
Alrosa, established in 1992, accounts for 95 per cent of Russia's overall diamond output.
In 2017, the miner produced 39.6 million carats of diamonds, registering a six per cent improvement compared to the year ago period, and earned 275.4 billion roubles ($4 billion).
The company opened its representative office at Mumbai's Bharat Diamond Bourse in April.
"The logic is to structure our presence in the market and to have direct relationship with India. And the main purpose is to provide more and more information about our company, our procedures, our goods and our production, and to participate in different jewellery shows or work with some authorities like the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)," he said.
Describing the opening of the office as being in the "right decision", Agureev said the company now has an improved understanding of the market, and is getting more information about the current trends.
But he said at this stage, there were no plans to open any additional office "in Surat or Delhi".
Asked about the company's relationship with GJEPC, he said "We have important cooperation in the area of synthetic stones".
The two sides signed a Memorandum of Cooperation last year in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.