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Belgium Trade Sees Third Consecutive Drop

Dec 15, 2020 10:51 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... 
Belgium’s polished-diamond exports fell 9% year on year to $612 million in November, marking the third consecutive month of decline. The slowdown reflects a 7% drop in shipments to the US, for a total of $194 million, according to data the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) released this week.

Belgium trade data for November 2020

  November 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $612M -9%
Polished imports $525M -9%
Net polished exports $87M -10%
Rough imports $702M -14%
Rough exports $725M -15%
Net rough imports -$23M Deficit decreased 37%
Net diamond account $110M -17%
     
Polished exports by volume 269,159 carats -10%
Average price of polished exports $2,273/carat 1%
     
  January-November 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $5.18B -45%
Polished imports $5B -47%
Net polished exports $168M 2019: Deficit of $170M
Rough imports $5.97B -18%
Rough exports $5.72B -30%
Net rough imports $251M 2019: Deficit of $885M
Net diamond account -$82M 2019: Surplus of $714M
     
Polished exports by volume 2.4 million carats -36%
Average price of polished exports $2,127/carat -13%


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.

Main image: The Antwerp Diamond Bourse trading floor. (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, Rapaport News, trade data
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