RAPAPORT… Belgium’s polished-diamond exports dropped in March, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
Polished exports decreased 7% year on year to $1.09 billion and, by volume, fell 13% to 423,764 carats. The average price grew 7% to $2,570 per carat.
Polished shipments to Switzerland — which hosted the Baselworld show that month — slid 36% to $270.6 million, and exports to the United Arab Emirates declined 41% to $55.4 million. Those decreases outweighed a 48% jump in exports to Hong Kong to $140 million, while shipments to the US rose 29% to $319.3 million.
Polished imports saw a 1% increase to $1.49 billion, while net polished exports — the excess of exports over imports — stood at negative $400 million, compared with negative $309.6 million a year ago.
Rough imports climbed 10% to $1.17 billion, with rough exports soaring 30% to $1.48 billion. Net rough imports were negative $316.4 million versus negative $86.2 million last year.
The country’s net diamond account — the sum of rough and polished exports minus total imports — came to negative $83.6 million in March compared with negative $223.4 million the previous year.
In the first quarter, polished exports grew 1% to $3.18 billion, while rough imports went up 7% to $3.12 billion.