RAPAPORT... Belgium's polished exports rose 4 percent year on year in February 2012 to $1.37 billion and polished imports surged 41 percent to $1.25 billion, based upon data released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The excess of exports over imports gave Belgium net polished exports of $124.8 million, but that was a decline of 71 percent compared with February 2011.
Rough imports during February rose only 2 percent to $1.1 billion, while rough exports rose 2 percent to $1.16 billion. The excess of rough exports over imports left a deficit of $91.8 million, which was slightly more than the deficit of one year ago. Belgium registered a net diamond account of $216.6 million.
For the first two months of the year, Belgium's polished exports were up 3 percent to $2.2 billion, but polished imports surged 29 percent to $2.4 billion, leaving the country with a polished deficit of $216 million. Rough imports were flat at $2.1 billion and rough exports fell 1 percent to $2.2 billion, leaving net rough imports in a deficit of $30 million. Belgium's net diamond account for January and February combined totaled $186 million.