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Belgium Diamond Trade Slows

Rough and polished shipments continue to fall in August.
Sep 11, 2019 4:08 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Belgium’s diamond trade continued its decline in August, with rough and polished shipments slowing. Polished exports slumped 34%, reflecting lower volumes and a steep drop in the average price, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Imports and exports have fallen since the start of the year amid an oversupply in the midstream and weak demand from diamond manufacturers.

Millions unless stated otherwise Aug 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $323 -34%
Polished imports $575 -19%
Net polished exports -$252 Deficit widened 14%
Rough imports $461 -28%
Rough exports $323 -33%
Net rough imports $138 -11%
Net diamond account -$390 Deficit widened 3%
     
Polished exports: volume 170,986 carats -11%
Average price of polished exports $1,889/carat -25%
     
  Jan-Aug 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $7,134 -8%
Polished imports $7,403 -5%
Net polished exports -$270 Deficit widened 145%
Rough imports $5,355 -28%
Rough exports $6,045 -30%
Net rough imports -$689 Deficit narrowed 42%
Net diamond account $419 -61%
     
Polished exports: volume 2.8 million carats -11%
Average price of polished exports $2,518/carat 4%


Source: Antwerp World Diamond Centre

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: The Antwerp diamond district. (AWDC)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, exports, imports, Rapaport News, trade data
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