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Russian diamond manufacturers speak out against sale of diamonds from Gokhran to India

04 april 2012

On Tuesday, the Association of Diamond Manufacturers of Russia (ADMR) distributed an address to the Indian Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), received by Rough&Polished, where Russian diamond manufacturers expressed their indignation at the request made by Anand Sharma, India’s Minister of Industry, to Elvira Nabiullina, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development, to formalize a mechanism for the sale of diamonds to India by Gokhran.
"We understand whose interests are being lobbied by Minister Anand Sharma. We understand the pro-active stand of our colleagues, but, gentlemen, Russia also has its manufacturing industry and it is impossible to neglect its interests, it looks at least unethical," says the document signed by Maxim Shkadov, Chairman of the Association Council, who is also the CEO of Smolensk-based Kristall, Russia's largest diamond manufacturer.
Pointing out that the authorities of the Russian Federation, which is one of the major diamond manufacturers in the world, have defined the processing of minerals mined in the country as a key line of development, the Association noted that although currently the Russian diamond manufacturing industry has not the highest number of enterprises, but it is one of the most technologically advanced in the world and it is successfully operating using state-of-the-art technology and equipment.
Stressing that Russia’s Gokhran sells diamonds from its stock under the budget law only to Russian manufacturers pursuing the aim to reduce rough shortage for Russian diamond processing companies and noting that, as a rule, the amount of diamonds sold fails to meet demand even from the members of ADMR, the Association asks the Indian counterparts: "Do you really offer to formalize a mechanism for the sale of diamonds to India under these circumstances?"
"Gentlemen, we understand your appetite, but at least have some conscience: Russia is not Zimbabwe and it works in a civilized market under civilized rules. It’s quite enough to have Indian companies lined up to buy from ALROSA, which declare a desire to drive out all other customers from this company offering to pay 10% to 15% more. Such moves lead to excessively inflated prices for rough diamonds making manufacturing economically inefficient since polished diamonds turn out to be cheaper than rough. And in this case the reason lies with speculation and not with processing costs, technology or marketing of finished goods as it is used to be within the practice of civilized market. Just remember what your similar actions brought about in 2008. I think, no one would like to have this situation repeated," the ADMR Chairman said.
We are ready, he concluded, to discuss any options for cooperation in an open mode to prevent any such backdoor activities in the future and we ask you to consider the above in your future endeavors.