Russia has cancelled export quotas for diamonds and precious metals in a move that will slash bureaucracy for Russian producers, the finance ministry said in a statement on Jan. 16. "The cancellation of the quotas will help mining companies organize a long-term strategy for extraction and sales, strengthen their positions on the market," the statement said.
The move will also bring diamond prices in Russia into line with world market prices and "lower the market's dependency on speculative players," the statement added. In 2006, Russia exported diamonds for a total value of $1.7 billion with the main export market being the EU, followed by Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Russia also produced a total of 165.6 tons of gold in 2006.
Previously, Russian exporters had to wait 90 days before being given a quota to export diamonds or precious metals and the procedure required permits in various government agencies, the statement said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007