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UPDATE 1-Russian diamond producer Alrosa to raise output in 2022

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MOSCOW, May 18 (Reuters) - Russian state-controlled diamond producer Alrosa expects to produce at least 33 million carats of the precious stones in 2022, up from 31.5 million carats this year, it said on Tuesday.

Alrosa, which competes with Anglo American unit De Beers, is gradually restoring production after last year’s 22% reduction when global diamond sales were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global demand for rough diamonds started to recover in the second half of 2020. This helped Alrosa to reduce its stockpile to 12.8 million carats from 20.7 million carats at the end of 2020.

Alrosa expects its stockpile to be between 11 million and 12 million carats at the end of 2021, Chief Financial Officer Alexey Philippovskiy said on a conference call on Tuesday.

The company also said on Tuesday that its first-quarter core earnings rose 12% year on year to 33.5 billion roubles ($454 million) on revenue up 45% at 90.8 billion roubles. ($1 = 73.7250 roubles) (Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova Writing by Polina Devitt Editing by David Goodman)

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