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Belgium Diamond Trading Continues to Rise

Dec 21, 2021 8:26 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... 
Belgium’s polished-diamond exports increased 12% year on year to $683 million in November as the global market continued to strengthen ahead of the holidays. The rise reflected growth in the volume of shipments, which outweighed a weaker average price, according to Rapaport calculations based on data the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) released this week.

Belgium Trade Data for November 2021

  November 2021 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $683M 12%
Polished imports $858M 63%
Net polished exports -$175M 2020: Surplus of $87M
Rough imports $1.01B 44%
Rough exports $869M 20%
Net rough imports $146M 2020: Deficit of $22M
Net diamond account -$321M 2020: Surplus of $109M
     
Polished exports (volume) 338,742 carats 26%
Average price of polished exports $2,018/carat -11%
     
  January-November 2021 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $7.08B 37%
Polished imports $7.18B 43%
Net polished exports -$104M 2020: Surplus of $168M
Rough imports $9.77B 64%
Rough exports $9.91B 73%
Net rough imports -$135M 2020: Surplus of $252M
Net diamond account $31M 2020: Deficit of $83M
     
Polished exports (volume) 3.4 million carats 38%
Average price of polished exports $2,107/carat -1%


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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