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India among top buyers of Russian diamonds
November 14, 2013, 10:03 am

[Getty Images]

Russia exported nearly 20 per cent more diamonds in the first half this year than during the same period last year [Getty Images]

India has emerged as one of the top three buyers of Russian diamonds in the first half of 2013, according to the Russian Finance Ministry.

Moscow also exported nearly 20 per cent more diamonds in the first half this year than during the same period last year.

India is looking at becoming the international trading hub for rough diamonds after the government approved a special task group report in February this year to revive the sector.

Russia sold 18,309,000 carats of raw diamonds between January and June, worth a total of $2.32 billion, a rise of 18.6 per cent year-on-year.

Other top buyers of Russian raw diamonds were Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, said the ministry.

Belgium alone purchased 11,880,000 carats worth $1.49 billion.

Russia’s biggest diamond producer Alrosa overtook Anglo American-owned De Beers in 2009 as the world’s biggest diamond producer by volume.

Alrosa mines 97 per cent of all diamonds in the country and produced 34,400,000 carats of raw diamonds last year, selling raw and cut diamonds worth a total of $4.61 billion, the ministry said.

The Russian government owns 50.9256 per cent of ALROSA shares, while the Republic of Sakha wields 32.0002 per cent of shares.

Alrosa is planning to invest over 256 billion rubles ($8 billion) for the development of diamond mining until 2021, said a new Morgan Stanley report in October.

With inputs from Agencies

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