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Russian diamond group says market oversaturated

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Russian diamond producers have been hit by the oversaturated global market, the Association of Manufacturers Producers of Russia said on Friday.
MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russian diamond producers have been hit by the oversaturated global market, the Association of Manufacturers Producers of Russia said on Friday.

The diamond-rich republic of Yakutia in Russia's Far East cut production by 59% in the first three months of 2009, with the largest local plants working at half-capacity.

Suppliers provided one sixth of the usual volume of raw materials, worth $8.5 million, in the reporting period, association vice-president Ararat Evoyan said.

The slump comes in contrast to last year's strong results, when local manufacturers produced $147 million worth of diamonds. The republic's Diamond Council expects the figure to slip to $115.5 million in 2009.

Gemstone cutting has come to a virtual standstill across the country, Evonyan said.

He said the diamond sector may have to wait until 2010 for growth to resume.

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