Antwerp’s Rough Trade Still Thriving in August

PassportSizePhoto1842014234Antwerp: This month’s rough trade in Antwerp outperformed that of August 2013, with increases in both import and export, continuing the positive trading streak of this year. Imports and exports of polished saw some adjustments due to the modest trading in the same month last year.

Rough trading continued in a positive vein this month, further extending the robust figures the sector has been posting since the beginning of the year. Compared to August 2013, imports increased by 16% in volume and 30% in value, equaling 6,75 million carats and $1,1 billion, respectively. Exports also fared very well, with a 31% rise in volume and 36% increase in value, for a total of 4,74 million carats worth $675 million.

The divergence between imports of polished diamonds this month as compared to August 2013 was fairly small, with a 3% decrease in volume and 7% decrease in value, totaling approximately 502 000 carats valued at $833 million. Polished exports posted a somewhat weaker performance as compared to August of last year, declining by 15% in volume and 12% in value, amounting to almost 222 000 carats and $484 million.

We noted both rises and falls in exports of polished by country. This month’s figures for the United States, a 26% volume upturn to just above 38 000 carats and 16% value rise to $155 million-worth of exports, as compared to August 2013, represent a normalization of trade due to the lower numbers posted last year during the same period. We saw a decline of exports to UAE by 44% in volume to just over 25 000 carats and by 40% in value to $26 million. The surge of exports to China in contrast with August 2013, both in terms of volume and value, is a result of the considerable fall in trade last year. A 94% boost in volume, corresponding to about 15 000 carats valued at $23 million, left Antwerp for China.

In terms of polished imports, we saw an increase of goods coming from Hong Kong; a 47% rise in volume and 41% in value, amounting to around 98 000 carats and worth $134 million. The volume of imports from Israel grew by 104% and fell in value by 8%, as we saw an increase of less expensive goods coming to Antwerp.