RAPAPORT... Belgium’s polished diamond exports rose 17 percent to $946.07 million in October 2007. The Antwerp World Diamond Center reported that polished imports jumped 43 percent to $1.17 billion, causing the country’s net polished exports (polished exports less imports) to plummet 15-fold to an export deficit of $228.37 million.
Rough imports to Belgium rose 12 percent to $986.57 million, while rough exports grew 15 percent to $972.71 million. The country’s net rough imports (rough imports minus exports) decreased 55 percent to $13.86 million for the month.
Belgium’s October net diamond account (net polished exports less net rough imports) fell 435 percent to a net export deficit of $242.23 million.
Year-to-date polished exports from Belgium have grown 11 percent to $8.8 billion and polished imports have risen 10 percent to $8.4 billion. The net polished export figure for January through October 2007 increased 72 percent to $393.8 million.
Year-to-date rough imports have risen 13 percent to $8.58 billion, and exports have grown 19 percent to $9.43 billion. Net rough imports fell 209 percent to an import deficit of $843.31 million.
When subtracting the net rough imports from net polished exports though, Belgium's year to date net diamond account rose 146 percent to $1.23 billion.
Among Belgium’s customers, India showed the biggest growth for October, increasing its imports of Belgium polished by 313 percent to $45.9 million. China imports rose 84 percent to $24.78 million, while increases were also shown from Israel and the United states, which each increased their Belgium purchases by 17 percent.