RAPAPORT... Belgium's polished diamond exports in January rose less than 1 percent year on year to $819.9 million, while polished imports surged nearly 19 percent to $1.162 billion, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Since there was a greater amount of polished goods entering the country in January, Belgium registered a net polished diamond export deficit of $341.6 million compared with a deficit of $167.7 million one year ago. The country exported 468,858 carats of polished diamonds in January, which was a drop of 22 percent from one year ago.
Rough diamond imports fell slightly in January to $1.047 billion and rough exports fell nearly 5 percent to $986.1 million, leaving net rough imports of $61.3 million or about three times as much from January 2011. In all, Belgium's net diamond account, reflecting the difference between net polished exports and rough imports, was in a deficit at $402.9 million compared with a deficit of $184 million one year ago.