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Belgium’s Polished Exports Slump 55%

February shipments slide to $560 million.
Mar 8, 2020 11:11 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Belgium’s polished-diamond exports dropped 55% to $560 million in February, reflecting a slowdown in the market due to the coronavirus. However, rough imports grew, continuing a trend that began in January, data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) showed.

Belgium Trade Data for February 2020
  Feb 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $560M -55%
Polished imports $685M -11%
Net polished exports -$124M 2019: Surplus of $470M
Rough imports $683M 10%
Rough exports $718M -16%
Net rough imports -$35M Deficit decreased 85%
Net diamond account -$90M 2019: Surplus of $702M
     
Polished exports: volume 286,756 carats -38%
Average price of polished exports $1,953/carat -27%
     
  Jan-Feb 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $1.17B -42%
Polished imports $1.44B -16%
Net polished exports -$271M 2019: Surplus of $303M
Rough imports $1.51B 12%
Rough exports $1.41B -12%
Net rough imports $104M 2019: Deficit of $251M
Net diamond account -$375M 2019: Surplus of $554M
     
Polished exports: volume 586,223 carats -25%
Average price of polished exports $1,988/carat -23%


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 workers in Antwerp. (AWDC)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, net diamond account, net polished exports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports, trade data
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