Jun 29, 2020

Antwerp’s Diamond Trade in May Marginally Better than in April, But Well Below 2019 Levels

As restrictions in some of the key diamond markets and manufacturing centres imposed as a result of the global Coivd-19 pandemic began to be gradually relaxed, there was a marginal improvement in the diamond trade in Antwerp during May as compared to the previous month, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

Overall, though, the flow of rough and polished diamonds continued to remain well below 2019 levels.

During the month, the centre exported nearly 1.38 million carats of rough at a value of US$ 122.52 million. This represented a year-on-year decline of 79.44% in terms of volume and a 82.47% drop in terms of value, both figures being an improvement over the declines recorded in the previous month. Similarly, rough diamond imports dropped by 69.79% in volume terms and by 81.12% in value terms – with 1.70 mn carats of rough being imported at US$ 143.69 million – as compared to a year earlier.

Trade in polished also continued to remain depressed. Exports totalled 111,059 cts of polished at a value of US$ 212.36 million, a drop of 71.02% in volume terms, and of 82.01% in value terms year-on-year. During the month, the centre imported 177,385 cts of polished at a value of US$ 224.34 million, registering a drop of 59.15% in volume terms and 78.69% in value terms as compared to May 2019.

For the first five months of the year, the centre exported nearly 24.35 million carats of rough at a value of US$ 2.01 billion. This represented a year-on-year decline of 43.49% in volume terms, and of 51.77% in value terms. Similarly, during the same period, rough diamond imports dropped by 15.00% in volume terms and by 34.92% in value terms – with 27.58 mn carats of rough being imported at US$ 2.39 billion – as compared to a year earlier.

Trade in polished also continued to remain depressed for the Jan-May 2020 period. Exports totalled 1.04 mn cts of polished at a value of US$ 2.02 billion, a drop of 43.82% in volume terms, and of 60.16% in value terms year-on-year. During the first five months of 2020, the centre imported 1.32 mn cts of polished at a value of US$ 2.16 billion, registering a drop of 44.69% in volume terms and 58.16% in value terms as compared to Jan-May 2019.