|Street in diamond district, Antwerp|
According to the most recent figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the diamond trade has taken an upturn as the February trade figures show the first signs of recovery.
“2015 was a difficult year for the global diamond trade. Poor economic conditions caused diamond demand to slow worldwide. Antwerp, the largest diamond trade hub in the world, did not escape the downturn unscathed,” says a news report by the AWDC. “The fact that the rough diamond trade increased so sharply this past month indicates that the trade is gaining momentum. However, it is still too early to assert that the global diamond trade has found some breathing space again. This will only become clear in the coming months,” continues the report.
In February 2016, a total of $5.1 billion in diamonds were imported to and exported from Antwerp, based on the trade of 25 million carats of rough and polished diamonds. Compared to February 2015, this represents an increase of 38% in volume and 4.5% in value. During the same timeframe last year, a total of 18.3 million carats of diamonds were traded, representing an overall value of $4.8 million.
Imports of rough diamonds in February increased 82% in value and 106% in volume compared to January 2016. A total of 12 million carats of rough diamonds were imported in February for an overall value of $1.3 billion.
Belgium’s polished diamond exports to Israel in the first two months of 2016 reached 77,630.22 carats worth just over US$300 million, marking an increase of 11.18% in terms of carats from January –February 2015 and a less than 2% decrease in monetary terms.
Belgium’s polished diamond imports from Israel reached 80,346.03 carats worth US$280,629,840 in January –February 2016. This represented a nearly 12% increase in terms of carats and a more than 10% decrease in monetary terms from the first two months of 2015.