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Belgium Rough Trade Slows in 1Q

Apr 28, 2019 11:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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Belgium saw a decline in its imports and exports of rough diamonds in the first quarter, as mining companies’ sales dropped.

Shipments into the country slid 33% to $2.09 billion for the period, reflecting a 38% slump in rough sales at Alrosa, for which Belgium is the biggest market. De Beers’ revenues also fell 19% at its first two sales cycles of 2019, which took place during the quarter.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s polished exports decreased, as lower volumes outweighed a higher average price, according to the data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

Millions unless stated otherwise Mar 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $1,047 -4%
Polished imports $1,512.1 2%
Net polished exports -$465.1 Deficit increased 16%
Rough imports $744.2 -36%
Rough exports $921.7 -38%
Net rough imports -$177.5 Deficit decreased 44%
Net diamond account -$287.6 Deficit increased 224%
     
Polished exports: volume 377,161 carats -11%
Average price of polished exports $2,776/carat 9%
     
  1Q 2019 Year-on-year change
Polished exports $3,063.8 -4%
Polished imports $3,225.9 2%
Net polished exports -$162 2018: Surplus of $16.1M
Rough imports $2,091.6 -33%
Rough exports $2,520 -28%
Net rough imports -$428.4 Deficit increased 8%
Net diamond account $266.3 Surplus decreased 36%
     
Polished exports: volume 1.2 million carats -10%
Average price of polished exports $2,652/carat 7%

Source: Antwerp World Diamond Centre/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 is also a net exporter of rough. While Antwerp is 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 district. (AWDC)
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Tags: Alrosa, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Average Price, AWDC, Belgium, De Beers, net diamond account, net polished exports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough, Rough Diamonds, rough exports, rough imports
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