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Belgium Diamond Trade Slumps in June

Jul 12, 2016 7:21 AM   By Rapaport News
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Belgium’s diamond trading declined in June, with imports and exports of rough and polished falling in contrast with promising results in the previous two months.

Polished exports slumped 17 percent to $1.15 billion, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. By volume, exports fell 9.9 percent to 502,314 carats, while the average price slid 8.3 percent to $2,280 per carat.

The overall plunge was largely driven by a 17-percent dive in polished shipments to Hong Kong, Belgium’s second largest trade partner for polished diamonds. Orders from the U.S., the largest partner, fell 4.7 percent.

Polished imports fell 12 percent to $1.22 billion, meaning net polished exports declined to negative $78.9 million versus negative $13 million a year ago.

The results come after May data showed Belgium’s first monthly increase in polished diamond exports in almost a year.

Rough imports declined 11 percent to $945.3 million and rough exports slid 16 percent to $959.8 million, reversing a surge in May. Net rough imports increased to negative $14.6 from negative $75.6 million the previous year.

Belgium’s June net diamond account, representing total polished and rough exports minus total imports, swung to negative $64.4 million versus positive $62.7 million a year earlier.

During the first half of the year, polished exports fell 8.4 percent to $6.68 billion and polished imports dropped 9.5 percent to $6.46 billion. By contrast, rough trading improved during the six months, with exports increasing 4.8 percent to $6.7 billion and imports nudging up 2.4 percent to $6.51 billion.

Belgium’s net diamond account for the first half more than doubled to $419.1 million compared with $203.1 million a year ago.

“While the rough diamond market appears to be making a cautious recovery as compared to last year, the polished diamond trade continues to find it tough going,” the AWDC said in a statement. “The significant monthly fluctuations demonstrate that it is too early to draw far-reaching conclusions.”
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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