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Belgium’s Diamond Trade Slides in March

Apr 7, 2016 3:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT...  Belgium’s polished diamond exports fell 5.9 percent year on year to $1.16 billion in March, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. By volume, polished exports slid 8.1 percent to 489,611 carats, while the average price climbed 2.4 percent to $2,372 per carat.

Among Belgium’s main trading partners, polished exports to Hong Kong plummeted 53 percent but shipments to Switzerland increased 8.5 percent. Exports to the U.S. rose 9.6 percent.

Total polished imports by Belgium dropped 13 percent to $1.57 billion, while net polished exports, representing exports minus imports, rose 30 percent to negative $409 million.

Rough imports into Belgium slumped 30 percent to $979.5 million in March even as the global rough diamond market was strong in the first quarter. De Beers rough sales in January and February rose from a year ago, according to Rapaport News estimates, and positive ALROSA revenues since the start of 2016 pointed to a year-on-year improvement.

Net rough imports, representing imports minus exports, were negative $140.2 million compared with positive $97.6 million a year ago.

Belgium’s March net diamond account, representing total polished and rough exports minus total imports, jumped 60 percent to a deficit of $268.8 million.

During the first three months, polished exports fell 7.3 percent to $3.53 billion, while polished imports dropped 13 percent to $3.44 billion. Rough imports declined 7.4 percent to $3.04 billion and rough exports lost 0.7 percent to $3.19 billion.

Belgium’s first quarter net diamond account showed a surplus of $241.6 million compared to a deficit of $189.8 million last year.
Tags: Antwerp, Belgium, data, imports and exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, trade data
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