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NWT retains third place for global diamond production, De Beers optimistic about 2015

by Greg Klein | August 27, 2015

Although Russia pushed Botswana into second place, Canada remains third for global rough diamond production by value. Those are among 2014 findings released on August 25 by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. But, as the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines was quick to point out, Canada owes its position to the Northwest Territories, where three Lac de Gras-region mines produce about 95% of the national total.

NWT retains third place for global diamond production, De Beers optimistic about 2015

Third-place Canada garnered 14% of the nearly
$15-billion world diamond production by value last year.
(Chart: Kimberley Process Certification Scheme)

Russia produced 25.75% of the world’s total rough by value, barely easing out Botswana’s 25.16%. Canada’s share came to 13.82%, ahead of Angola with 9.09% and South Africa with 8.45%. The top three producers’ revenue came to $3.73 billion for Russia, $3.64 billion for Botswana and $2 billion for Canada.

The global total came to $14.495 billion. A nearly 4% global increase in value coincided with a nearly 4% fall in volume.

At 12 million carats, Canada’s output increased more than 13% over the previous year, moving from fifth to fourth place globally by volume. Canadian diamonds brought an average $166.78 per carat, well above the world average of $116.17 but a nearly 7% drop from Canada’s 2013 performance. Nevertheless, the $2 billion paid for Canadian diamonds represents a 5% hike over 2013.

World average prices, meanwhile, rose almost 8% from $107.66 per carat according to the Kimberley Process.

Looking at diamond jewelry, De Beers estimated global sales rose 3% last year to $81 billion, Rapaport News reported. De Beer’s own rough sales for H1 2015, however, dropped 21% to $2.7 billion.

On August 26 Rapaport quoted De Beers’ head of global sightholder sales Paul Rowley expressing cautious optimism for the rest of the year. “One can’t ignore what’s happened on the financial markets in the past few days and weeks but we also see our product doing quite well in these times. We see diamonds in general bucking the trend a little. As much as consumer demand won’t meet our expectations from the beginning of the year, we still feel that it will be around flat on last year—which wasn’t a bad year.”

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