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Russian diamond producers have been hit by the oversaturated global market,
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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