The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) can close 2021 as the year of the Antwerp diamond industry’s comeback. With $37.23 billion in imports and exports of traded diamonds, the Belgian diamond sector is doing better than in 2020, when imports and expert had dropped by 32% to $24.9 billion because of the Corona virus.
As a result, the Antwerp Diamond Industry is doing just slightly better than in 2019, when the trade value was $37 billion. According to AWDC, this is due to travel restrictions and limited social spending such as restaurant visits and outings. These have left room in the average consumer’s mind for larger luxury purchases such as jewelry. The year-end period in jewelry sales confirms that suspicion. In the last quarter of 2021, experts say, about 42% more jewelry was sold than in 2019.
Challenging years behind it
The past few years have certainly not been easy for the Antwerp diamond sector. In 2019, trade dropped by 20 percent compared to the previous year. 2020 was not a successful year either. In that year, 164.4 million carats of rough and polished diamonds worth USD 24.9 billion were traded in Antwerp, down 32 percent from 2019.
That decline had a number of reasons, according to an AWDC spokesman. For one thing, stores were closed because of the Corona crisis and many people were sitting at home economically unemployed. On the other hand, the diamond trade is very internationally dependent. For the Antwerp diamond trade, the United States, India and Russia are particularly important markets, and that is where the virus later struck. This had a strong impact on the diamond trade.
The Antwerp diamond industry is an important center for the global diamond trade. Some 86% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds pass through Antwerp. Diamonds represent 5% of Belgian exports of goods and services and 15% of Belgian exports outside the EU.