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Belgium Sees Trading Slump Ease

Aug 30, 2020 7:56 AM   By Rapaport News
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Belgium’s diamond shipments continued to fall in July, but the rate of decline slowed as markets reopened following coronavirus shutdowns. The country’s polished exports dropped 35% year on year for the month, compared with a 44% slump in June, according to recent data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

Belgium trade data for July 2020
  July 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $580M -35%
Polished imports $521M -20%
Net polished exports $59M -76%
Rough imports $376M -30%
Rough exports $302M -59%
Net rough imports $74M 2019: Deficit of $206M
Net diamond account -$16M 2019: Surplus of $449M
     
Polished exports by volume 217,770 carats -51%
Average price of polished exports $2,662/carat 31%
     
  January-July 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $3.07B -55%
Polished imports $3.03B -56%
Net polished exports $44M 2019: Deficit of $19M
Rough imports $3.12B -36%
Rough exports $2.55B -55%
Net rough imports $569M 2019: Deficit of $827M
Net diamond account -$525M 2019: Surplus of $808M
     
Polished exports by volume 1.4 million carats -47%
Average price of polished exports $2,184/carat -15%


Sources: Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Rapaport archives.

About the data: Belgium is usually a net exporter of polished diamonds. As such, net polished exports — representing polished exports minus polished imports — will normally be a positive number. The nation has historically been a net importer of rough, though in recent years, it has often been a net rough exporter. While Antwerp is still home to some high-value manufacturing, its main role in the market is as a facilitator of rough-diamond trading, with companies from around the world coming to the city to buy rough. The net diamond account is total rough and polished exports minus total imports. It is Belgium’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by exporting rough or manufacturing it into polished.

Image: The Port House, Antwerp. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, exports, imports, Rapaport News
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