Feb 06, 2018

Antwerp’s Rough Diamond Trade Strengthens in 2017

Antwerp’s rough diamond trade strengthened significantly in 2017, with volumes of imports  and exports rising by 6% and 27% respectively as compared to the figures for 2016, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said in a statement yesterday. However, in value terms, the import and export trade registered a 11% and 1% drop respectively, indicating some softening of prices and a marked increase in the trade in smaller size goods.

The AWDC also said that 109 tenders were conducted by Antwerp tender houses during the year, representing a 27% increase over the 86 tenders held in 2016. Additionally, the mining companies held another 68 tenders in Antwerp.

Further, AWDC added that a majority of the diamond production from three new mines (two in Canada, one in Lesotho) is now traded on the Antwerp diamond market.

Releasing consolidated figures for the 12 month period, AWDC said that the industry traded 233.6 million carats of diamonds worth a total of $US 46 billion during the year. This was lower than in 2016. Of this, the rough diamond trade accounted for 223.1 million carats worth $23.3 billion. while polished diamonds accounted for 10.7 million carats valued at $22.5 billion. Thus, while rough trade strengthened, as noted above, the polished trade witnessed an overall decline of 7% in volume and 3% in value compared to 2016.

AWDC said that the price achieved per carat of rough declined. Given that the price per carat of polished diamonds rose, the gap between the two (rough and polished) was smaller than in 2016.

The trend in the first month of 2018 has been somewhat different, with strong performances on both the rough and polished fronts. Rough imports of were up 14.22% in value terms and 15.79% in volume terms, while exports rose 6.04% in volume terms but dipped 1.41% in value. Polished exports soared 28.86% in value and 21.24% in volume, and imports rose 8.44% in value and  21.06% in volume.