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Belgium Trade Grows, but at Slower Pace

Oct 6, 2021 9:26 AM   By Rapaport News
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The Belgian diamond sector’s recovery lost steam in August as the global industry stabilized during the summer months, according to recent data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

The country’s polished exports grew 17% year on year to $401 million, while rough exports rose 63% to $651 million — milder increases than in previous months.

Belgium Trade Data for August 2021

  August 2021 Year-on-year change
Polished exports $401M 17%
Polished imports $627M 57%
Net polished exports -$226M Deficit increased 288%
Rough imports $1.02B 138%
Rough exports $651M 63%
Net rough imports $373M 1105%
Net diamond account -$599M Deficit increased 572%
Polished exports (volume) 175,890 carats 18%
Average price of polished exports $2,280/carat -1%
  January-August 2021 Year-on-year change
Polished exports $4.76B 39%
Polished imports $4.95B 44%
Net polished exports -$189M Deficit increased 1075%
Rough imports $6.95B 96%
Rough exports $7.17B 143%
Net rough imports -$222M 2020: Surplus of $600M
Net diamond account $33M 2020: Deficit of $616M
Polished exports (volume) 2.4 million carats 51%
Average price of polished exports $2,022/carat -8%

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 Antwerp Diamond Bourse trading floor. (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
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