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Belgium’s Rough Trade Slumps in May

Exports down 37% to $741.5 million.
Jun 26, 2019 5:01 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Rough exports from Belgium dropped 37% year on year to $741.5 million in May, reflecting continued weakness in the sector. Rough imports fell 16%, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The polished trade was more stable, with imports climbing 6% during the month. Polished exports were flat, as the average price rose to the highest level on record for the country, offsetting a decline in volume.

Millions unless stated otherwise May 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $1,181 0%
Polished imports $1,053 6%
Net polished exports $127.8 -31%
Rough imports $760.9 -16%
Rough exports $741.5 -37%
Net rough imports $19.4 2018: Deficit of $278.9M
Net diamond account $108.4 -77%
     
Polished exports: volume 383,189 carats -13%
Average price of polished exports $3,082/carat 15%
     
  Jan-May 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $5,077 0%
Polished imports $5,153 3%
Net polished exports -$76.1 2018: Surplus of $67.6M
Rough imports $3,680 -27%
Rough exports $4,176 -27%
Net rough imports -$496.7 Deficit decreased 32%
Net diamond account $420.6 -48%
     
Polished exports: volume 1.9 million carats -12%
Average price of polished exports $2,736/carat 13%


Source: Antwerp World Diamond Centre/Rapaport archives

About the data: Belgium is usually a net exporter of polished diamonds. As such, net polished exports — representing polished exports minus polished imports — will normally be a positive number. The nation is also a net exporter of rough. While Antwerp is home to some high-value manufacturing, its main role in the market is as a facilitator of rough-diamond trading, with companies from around the world coming to the city to buy rough. The net diamond account is total rough and polished exports minus total imports. It is Belgium’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by exporting rough or manufacturing it into polished
 
Image: Diamond processing. (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Average Price, AWDC, Belgium, net diamond account, net polished exports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough, rough exports, rough imports
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