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In the January to April 2016 period, some $4.31 billion worth of polished diamonds were imported to Antwerp, while polished diamond exports were worth US$4.43 billion, according to the most recent figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Polished diamond imports decreased 10.17% in terms of carats and by 13.26% in monetary terms from such exports in the first four months of 2015.
Rough diamond exports during the January to April 2016 quarter were over 40 million carats worth US$4.46 billion. This represented an increase of nearly 23% in terms of carats and a 6.4% increase in monetary terms from the first four months of 2015. The country’s rough diamond imports during this period quarter increased by 13.13% in terms of carats, while reporting a 1.89% increase in monetary terms from a year earlier.
Belgium’s polished diamond exports to Israel in the first four months of 2016 reached 133.510.10 carats worth US$470 million, marking a decrease of 11.54% in terms of carats from January – April 2015 and a less than 4% decrease in monetary terms.
Belgium’s polished diamond imports from Israel reached 139,505.93 carats worth US$434,897,784 in January – April 2016. This represented a more than 9% decrease in terms of carats and a nearly 14% decrease in monetary terms from the first four months of 2015.
According to the AWDC there was a noteworthy trend on the polished diamond market: while the volume of imported polished diamonds from the United States declined by 22%, their value actually increased 14%. The same trend is repeated on the export side, thus clearly showing that Antwerp and the United States are mainly trading in high-value stones. On the other hand, the opposite is true when it comes to the polished diamond trade with United Arab Emirates. Imports from UAE increased 100% in volume as compared to April 2015, and yet the value of that trade declined 11% in value. This is confirmed on the export side of the equation, as a 1% decline in volume resulted in a 24% decline in value. This leads to the conclusion that trade with UAE currently involves large volumes of less valuable stones.
"While we are certainly heeding the cautionary warnings about strong rough sales from the major miners and overly optimistic purchases from the middle of the pipeline, and are therefore not jumping to the conclusion that a full-blown diamond-industry recovery is underway, the results we have seen over the past few months are certainly cause for optimism. Antwerp is clearly the preferred global marketplace and bellwether of the industry, so if one wishes to know how the diamond industry is performing, look no further than Antwerp. Accordingly, we remain hopeful that the industry as a whole continues to achieve positive results,” explains AWDC spokeswoman Margaux Donckier.