RAPAPORT... Belgium's polished diamond exports fell 12 percent year on year to $1.214 billion in March, according to statistics released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. By export volume, the number of polished carats fell 5.9 percent to 614,601 and the average price per carat dropped 6 percent to $1,975. Polished diamond imports declined 2.8 percent to $1.268 billion, leaving Belgium with a polished export deficit of $54 million compared with a surplus of $76 million one year ago.
Rough diamond imports in March fell 13.2 percent to $1.184 billion, while rough exports dropped 3.9 percent to $1.405 billion, widening a rough deficit to $221 million from $98 million in March 2012.
Belgium's net diamond account for March, reflecting the difference between net exports and net imports, fell to $167 million compared with $173 million one year ago.
For the first quarter of 2013, Belgium's polished exports have been reduced by 6 percent to $3.349 billion and polished imports have plunged 13 percent to $3.216 billion, but the country's net polished exports improved to $133 million from a deficit of $141 million.
Rough imports were down by 1 percent to $3.455 billion and exports also fell 1 percent to $3.583 billion, leaving net imports unchanged in a deficit of $128 million. Belgium's net diamond account for the first quarter of 2013 rose to $261 million from a deficit of $13 million one year ago.