Antwerp Rough Trade Takes Upturn in February

Rough DiamondsAntwerp: 2015 was a difficult year for the global diamond trade. Poor economic conditions caused diamond demand to slow worldwide. Antwerp, the largest diamond trade hub in the world, did not escape the downturn unscathed. The February trade figures, however, show the first signs of recovery. The diamond trade has taken an upturn.

Last month (February 2016), a total of $5.1 billion in diamonds were imported to and exported from Antwerp, based on the trade of 25 million carats of rough and polished diamonds. Compared to February 2015, this represents an increase of 38% in volume and 4.5% in value. During the same timeframe last year, a total of 18.3 million carats of diamonds were traded, representing an overall value of $4.8 million.

Taking a closer look at the February 2016 figures in comparison to this past January, we see in particular that the rough diamond trade experienced a noteworthy turnaround. Imports of rough diamonds in February increased 82% in value and 106% in volume. A total of 12 million carats of rough diamonds were imported in February for an overall value of $1.3 billion.

Russia continued to be the most significant supplier of rough diamonds, providing nearly 33% of all rough diamonds imported in February. In terms of value, Russia was good for no less than 36% of all rough diamonds that entered Antwerp. More specifically, they delivered 4.25 million carats in rough diamonds with an overall value of $435 million.

The fact that the rough diamond trade increased so sharply past month indicates that the trade is gaining momentum. However, it is still too early to assert that the global diamond trade has found some breathing space again. This will only become clear in the coming months.