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Antwerp Optimistic as April Rough Trading Climbs

May 11, 2016 3:01 AM   By Rapaport News
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The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said a surge in rough trading in Belgium in April warranted cautious optimism about the health of the diamond market.

Imports of rough diamonds soared 34 percent to $1.22 billion, while rough exports surged 30 percent to $1.27 billion. Net rough imports, representing imports minus exports, were negative $57.4 million compared with negative $76 million a year ago.

Results over the past few months “are certainly cause for optimism,” according to AWDC spokesperson Margaux Donckier, but the Belgian industry is “not jumping to the conclusion that a full-blown diamond-industry recovery is underway.”

Rough trading outperformed its polished counterpart, with exports of polished gems sliding 14 percent to $899.1 million and polished imports falling 7.5 percent to $873.7 million. Net polished exports slid 74 percent to $25.4 million. Polished exports to the U.S., the country’s largest diamond trade partner, fell 9 percent to $283.2 million.

The country’s net diamond account, representing total rough and polished exports minus total imports, fell 52 percent to $82.8 million.

In the first four months of 2016, polished exports fell 8.7 percent to $4.43 billion and rough imports climbed 1.9 percent to $4.27 billion.

“Antwerp is clearly the preferred global marketplace and bellwether of the industry, so if one wishes to know how the diamond industry is performing, look no further than Antwerp,” Donckier said. “Accordingly, we remain hopeful that the industry as a whole continues to achieve positive results."
Tags: Belgium, imports and exports, polished trading, Rapaport News, rough trade, rough trading, trade date
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