Belgium’s Rough Trade Jumps

Belgium’s rough trading leapt in September as shipments of uncut diamonds continued to outperform polished.
 Rough exports soared 61 percent to $1.42 billion and rough imports surged 39 percent to $1.21 billion, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre reported. By volume, rough exports jumped 26 percent to 10.78 million carats. Net rough imports slumped to negative $212.7 million from negative $14 million a year ago.
By contrast, polished exports slid 11 percent to $1.24 billion, while orders by weight fell 9 percent to 525,871 carats. The average price of outbound polished shipments fell 2 percent to $2,350 per carat. Exports to Hong Kong and the U.S., which are by far Belgium’s largest trading partners for polished diamonds fell 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
Polished imports declined 5 percent to $1.28 billion, while net polished exports swung to negative $39.7 million from positive $47.7 million a year ago. Belgium’s net diamond account for September nearly tripled to $173 million from $61.7 million a year ago.
 In the January to September period, rough exports advanced 12 percent to $9.82 billion and rough imports grew 8 percent to $9.29 billion. Polished exports slid 9 percent to $9.33 billion and polished imports dropped by the same percentage point to $9.22 billion.
BRON: RAPAPORT 13-10-2016