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Decline in Belgium Trade Intensifies

Polished exports drop 30% in October.
Nov 20, 2019 5:08 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... 
Belgium’s diamond trade slowed at a higher rate in October, reflecting global market weakness. Polished exports fell 30% to $671 million, compared with a 25% drop in September. Rough shipments also slumped, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

Belgium Trade Data for October 2019

  Oct 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $671 -30%
Polished imports $685 -26%
Net polished exports $14 2018: Deficit of $31M
Rough imports $529 -30%
Rough exports $545 -39%
Net rough imports -$16 Deficit narrowed 88%
Net diamond account $2 -99%
     
Polished exports: volume 345,292 carats -15%
Average price of polished exports $1,944/carat -17%
     
  Jan-Oct 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $8,677 -12%
Polished imports $8,949 -10%
Net polished exports -$272 Deficit widened 128%
Rough imports $6,493 -28%
Rough exports $7,341 -30%
Net rough imports -$848 Deficit narrowed 41%
Net diamond account $576 -57%
     
Polished exports: volume 3.5 million carats -13%
Average price of polished exports $2,465/carat 1%
 
All numbers in millions of dollars unless stated otherwise.


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: The Antwerp Diamond Bourse. (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)

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