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Antwerp’s diamond trade slows in 2017

13 february 2018
Belgium’s diamond trade declined last year, with the nation seeing a drop in shipments of both polished and rough stones.
Polished exports fell 3.4% to $11.4 billion for the year, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) reported. By volume, exports slid 8% to 5 million carats, while the average price climbed 4.6% to $2,276 per carat. Net polished exports — representing exports minus imports — slumped 34% to $269.2 million.
“While demand for polished diamonds worldwide was under pressure…we note that demand from the most important markets, namely China and the US, gradually recovered,” the AWDC said. “Consequently, the polished-diamond market continues to experience difficulties, but the decline is less pronounced than last year.”
While rough imports dropped 11% to $10.73 billion, they jumped 6% in volume terms to 95.3 million carats, reflecting a 16% slide in the average price to $113 per carat. Demand for smaller, cheaper rough stones grew last year, resulting in a decline in the average price across the global market, the organization explained.
Rough exports slipped 0.9% to $12.61 billion, while net rough imports — referring to imports minus exports — stood at negative $1.88 billion, versus negative $638.4 million a year ago.
The country’s net diamond account, representing total exports minus total imports, more than doubled to $2.15 billion, from $1.05 billion a year ago.


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