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Belgium Polished Exports Dip in January

Feb 10, 2021 9:35 AM   By Rapaport News
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 Belgium’s polished-diamond exports fell 10% year on year to $547 million in January, with both volume and the average price declining. That followed a positive December, in which shipments jumped 9% to $634 million, according to data the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) released this week. For 2020 as a whole, polished exports dropped 41% to $5.81 billion, as a second-quarter slump resulting from the coronavirus crisis outweighed an improvement in the final months of the year.

Belgium trade data for January 2021

  January 2021 Year-on-year change
Polished exports $547M -10%
Polished imports $570M -24%
Net polished exports -$24M Deficit decreased 84%
Rough imports $628M -24%
Rough exports $769M 11%
Net rough imports -$141M 2020: Surplus of $139M
Net diamond account $118M -141%
Polished exports by volume 285,517 carats -5%
Average price of polished exports $1,914/carat -5%
  December 2020 Year-on-year change
Polished exports $634M 9%
Polished imports $519M -3%
Net polished exports $114M 177%
Rough imports $866M 34%
Rough exports $1.04B 7%
Net rough imports -$179M Deficit decreased 46%
Net diamond account $293M -22%
Polished exports by volume 278,425 carats 5%
Average price of polished exports $2,276/carat 4%

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: A diamond worker in Antwerp. (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)
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Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, net diamond account, net polished exports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports, trade data
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