Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Belgium's Dec. Polished Diamond Exports +6%

Belgium’s polished diamond exports grew 6 percent year on year to $1.059 billion in December, ‎according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). By volume, exports ‎rose 5 percent to 559,488 carats as the average price increased 1 ‎percent to $1,893 per carat. ‎

Belgium’s polished exports to the U.S. rose 7 percent year on year to $295.1 million during the month; however,  exports to Israel declined 14 percent to $128.3 million. Exports to India grew 10 percent to $50.3 million, while exports to Hong Kong rose 26 percent to $281.6 million and exports to Switzerland increased by 21 percent to $55.5 million. Exports to the United Arab Emirates rose by 27 percent to $117.2 million.

Belgium's polished imports rose by 13 percent to $877 million, leaving net  ‎exports, representing the excess of exports over imports, of $181.8 million, a decline of 19 percent compared with one year ago.

Belgium’s rough imports increased 17 percent to $1.084 billion during the month, while rough ‎exports dropped 4 percent to $1.334 billion. Net rough imports, representing the excess ‎of imports over exports, fell to a deficit of $250.4 million compared with a deficit of $464 million one year ago. ‎

Belgium’s December net diamond account, representing total imports of polished and rough ‎diamonds less total exports, declined by 37 percent to $432.2 million. ‎

AWDC noted that 2013 was the second best year ever for the Antwerp diamond industry. During 2013, Belgium’s polished exports increased 5 percent to $13.882 ‎billion, while its polished imports rose 3 percent to $13.299 billion.

The U.S. remains Antwerp’s first destination for polished diamonds, closely followed by China. The AWDC observed a significant increase  in the trade with both Dubai and South Africa, while the European market remained relatively stable.

Rough imports grew by 8 ‎percent in 2013 to $13.228 billion, while rough exports rose 8 percent to $14.626 billion. By volume, 90.6 million carats of rough diamonds were imported and 106.5 million carats of rough diamonds were exported equaling a combined value of more than $27.8 billion or an increase of 8 percent compared to 2012.

The increase in rough trading was the result of Antwerp’s drive to expand its importance as the leading hub, according to AWDC, which touted the success of its in-house tender facility that allows fast and efficient buying.  AWDC also reinforced its ties with ALROSA through a new cooperation agreement, noting that 65 percent of the mining giant's production is traded in Antwerp. AWDC intends to intensify trade relationships with Zimbabwe for Marange goods in addition to future cooperation with Canada-based Stornoway Diamonds for its Renard production.

Belgium’s net diamond account for the 12 month period increased 26 percent to ‎‎$1.98 billion.

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