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Belgian Polished Exports Rose by 6% in December 2013 - AWDC

31 january 2014

Polished diamond exports from Belgium rose by 6% in December 2013 to $1.059 billion compared to the same month in 2012, according to data released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
In physical terms polished diamond exports posted an increase by 5% to 559,488 carats. Meanwhile, the average price per carat rose by 1% to $1,893.
Belgium’s polished diamond exports to the UAE grew by 27% to $117.2 million, exports to Hong Kong went up by 26% to $281.6 million, exports to Switzerland increased by 21% to $55.5 million. Polished exports to India remained stable having achieved $50.3 million, while exports to U.S. increased by 7% to $295.1 million for the period in report. However polished diamond supply to Israel declined by 14% year-on-year to $128.3 million.
By value, Belgium posted polished diamond exports to rise by 13% to $877 million, with net exports - the excess of exports over imports - fell by 19% to $181.8 million in December 2013 compared to the same month of 2012.
AWDC reported that Belgian imports of rough diamonds rose by 17% to $ 1.084 billion for December, 2013, while exports decreased by 4% to $1.334 billion. Net imports rough diamonds - the excess of imports over exports - was characterized by a deficit of $250.4 million compared to $464 million a year earlier.
In December 2013 Belgium's net diamond account (the difference between net imports and exports) decreased by 37% to $ 432.2 million
USA remain the main export destination for polished diamonds from Antwerp, followed by China. AWDC also notes a significant increase in trade with Dubai and South Africa and says that the European market remains relatively stable.
Overall, following the results of the 2013, rough diamond imports from Belgium rose by 8% to $13.228 billion, while exports increased by 8% to $14.626 billion. A total of 90.6 million carats of rough diamonds were imported to Belgium, with about 106.5 million carats valued more than $27.8 billion exported, up 8% compared to 2012.
The increase in rough diamond trade was the result of the Antwerp's desire to expand its activities as a leading center of diamond trade and successful operations of AWDC tender mechanism, which allows quick and efficient sale of products.
AWDC also strengthened its ties with ALROSA through a new cooperation agreement, and currently 65% share of the production of the Russian companies is traded in Antwerp.
AWDC intends to intensify trade relations with Zimbabwe on Marange, and cooperate with Canadian company Stornoway Diamonds on Renard Diamond Project.

Alex Shishlo, Editor in Chief of the European Bureau, Rough&Polished