The country produced nearly twice as many carats as the second-largest supplier, Botswana
Russia was the top global producer of rough diamonds in 2022, RIA Novosti reported on Sunday, citing data from the Kimberley Process.
According to the UN-backed organization, the total volume of diamond production in the world last year amounted to 119.96 million carats. Of these, 41.9 million were sourced in Russia, or 35%. Since 2004, when the agency started tracking output volumes, Russian rough diamond production has never accounted for more than 32% of the total.
Another 61.6 million carats were mined in African countries, with the continent’s largest diamond supplier, Botswana, producing 24.5 million carats. Calculations show that together, Russia and Africa accounted for more than 90% of global output last year.
The globe’s third-largest rough diamond producer was Canada, with 16.3 million carats.
The two largest exporters of rough diamonds, meanwhile, were the United Arab Emirates with 89.4 million carats or 27% of global exports, and the EU with 75.2 million carats or 22.7%. These are considered the globe’s most prominent diamond trading hubs. Russia’s share among global rough diamond exporters was 11.1% (36.7 million carats).
Amid Ukraine-related sanctions last year, imports of Russian rough diamonds were either banned or partially restricted by the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
The EU and the Group of Seven (G7) countries have also been considering a more detailed ban on Russian diamonds over the past several months, which would prevent both direct and indirect imports.
According to media reports citing EU officials, they plan to introduce a tracking system that would include physical checks of packages with gems and compulsory traceability data for diamond producers and traders. It is currently unclear when the mechanism is expected to be introduced.
Industry experts have warned that such a ban could jeopardize the global diamond market. Russia, meanwhile, has been actively redirecting its diamond trade to the markets of China, India, the UAE, Armenia, and Belarus, which have all seen a surge in gem imports from the sanctioned country over the past year.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section