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Belgium Polished Trade Slips in October

Exports down 6% as shipments to Hong Kong and France fall.
Nov 16, 2020 10:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... 
Belgium’s polished-diamond exports fell 6% year on year to $629 million in October as lower shipments to Hong Kong and France outweighed a rise in orders from the US.

However, unusually high-value exports to France in October 2019 skewed the year-on-year comparison, a spokesperson for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) noted Monday.

Rough trading increased amid stronger sales by the large mining companies. Polished exports were down 47% for the first 10 months of 2020, according to data the AWDC released this week.

Belgium trade data for October 2020

  October 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $629M -6%
Polished imports $498M -27%
Net polished exports $131M 2019: Deficit of $9M
Rough imports $873M 65%
Rough exports $957M 75%
Net rough imports -$84M Deficit increased 423%
Net diamond account $214M 2910%
     
Polished exports by volume 297,154 carats -14%
Average price of polished exports $2,117/carat 9%
     
  January-October 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $4.57B -47%
Polished imports $4.49B -50%
Net polished exports $82M 2019: Deficit of $267M
Rough imports $5.26B -19%
Rough exports $4.99B -32%
Net rough imports $272M 2019: Deficit of $848M
Net diamond account -$191M 2019: Surplus of $582M
     
Polished exports by volume 2.2 million carats -38%
Average price of polished exports $2,108/carat -14%


Sources: Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), 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 has historically been a net importer of rough, though in recent years, it has often been a net rough exporter. While Antwerp is still 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: Models show off diamond rings at the Kimberley Process intersessional meeting in Antwerp, June 2018. (AWDC)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, net diamond account, Polished Diamonds, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, Rough Diamonds
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