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Antwerp Cautious Despite Polished Trading Jump

Jun 7, 2016 10:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) warned Belgium’s first monthly increase in polished diamond exports in almost a year might not signal a turnaround.

Outbound polished shipments rose 4.5 percent to $1.11 billion in May, the first time since June last year, according to data provided by the AWDC. By volume, polished exports declined 1.3 percent to 480,351 carats, with the average price jumping 5.9 percent to $2,308 per carat.

Polished imports recorded their first advance since March last year, up 6.8 percent to $922.5 million. Net polished exports, representing exports minus imports, declined 5.6 percent to $186.1 million.

“While we are obviously very encouraged by the polished results from May, a positive month does not constitute a trend,” a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement to Rapaport News. “So we would exercise caution about claiming this is a sign of a turnaround. Our people on the ground have also not indicated anything as such, but they may also be hesitant to read too much into this, as are we.”

The AWDC is “not ignoring the positive signs” but “would just prefer to err on the side of caution,” the spokesperson added.

Rough imports soared 18 percent to $1.3 billion and rough exports surged 21 percent to $1.28 billion. Net rough imports, representing imports minus exports, plummeted 62 percent to $14.8 million.

Belgium’s net diamond account, representing total polished and rough exports minus total imports, jumped 8 percent to $171.4 million.

Trade figures for May follow data for April that showed a decline in polished imports and exports but a surge in rough activity. While the month’s rough-trading results were a “cause for optimism,” the AWDC said the Belgian industry was “not jumping to the conclusion that a full-blown diamond-industry recovery is underway.”

During the first five months of the year, polished exports retreated 6.3 percent to $5.54 billion, while polished imports dropped 8.8 percent to $5.23 billion. Rough imports climbed 5.2 percent to $5.56 billion and rough exports jumped 9.3 percent to $5.74 billion.
Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, data, imports and exports, polished trading, Rapaport News, rough trade, rough trading, trade data
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