Belgium’s Polished Exports Stable in March

Antwerp: Belgium’s exports of polished diamonds were almost flat in March, boosted by a significant rise in shipments to India, according to data published by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

Polished exports crept up 0.4% to $1.17 billion, the AWDC said. By volume, outbound shipments dropped 1% to 485,409 carats, with the average price increasing 1% to $2,403 per carat.

Exports to India jumped 58% to $46.6 million, while shipments to the main consumer markets declined. Exports to the US fell 16% to $247 million, and to Hong Kong by 3% to $94.7 million. Shipments to Switzerland grew 4% to $421.2 million as dealers sent goods to the Basel show that took place March 22 to 27.

Polished imports fell 6% to $1.48 billion, meaning net polished exports – calculated as exports minus imports – stood as negative $309.6 million versus negative $408.9 million a year ago. While the polished market was mixed, rough trading continued to grow, with rough imports rising 6% to $1.05 billion and rough exports advancing 2% to $1.14 billion during the month. Net rough imports fell 31% to $88.9 million.

Belgium’s March net diamond account was negative $220.7 million, compared with negative $280.8 million a year ago. During the first quarter, polished exports fell 11% to $3.15 billion and polished imports dropped 10% to $3.1 billion. Rough imports declined 4.4% to $2.92 billion, while rough exports increased 2.3% to $3.26 million. Belgium’s net diamond account jumped 74% to $400.2 million during the three-month period.