Mood on the market much more positive than last year
The Antwerp diamond trade recorded a 5 percent increase in trade in 2016 following a very difficult 2015, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) reported. Last year, $48 billion worth of diamonds were imported and exported from Antwerp.
“The rough diamond market in particular is clearly making a strong recovery,” the AWDC said. “This is positive sign, given that the rough diamond trade is the foundation and heart of the diamond trade. The proactive efforts of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre to bring more rough diamonds onto the Antwerp market is clearly bearing fruit.”
While the value of the diamonds traded in Antwerp in 2016 remained stable compared with 2015, trade volumes increased 5 percent and the mood on the market is much more positive than last year. While the overall declining trend on the polished diamond market was confirmed, the Antwerp diamond trade reinforced its position on the rough diamond market, the AWDC commented.
Polished diamonds declined
Imports as well as exports of polished diamonds in 2016 declined with respect to 2015. A total of 11.4 million carats of polished diamonds valued at $23.2 billion were imported to and exported from the Antwerp diamond market. Six million carats of polished diamonds with a value of $11.4 billion were imported to Antwerp. This represents a decline of 7 percent in volume and 10 percent in value. On the export side, there were declines of 9 percent in volume and 10 percent in value as compared to 2015. Overall, 5.4 million carats of polished diamonds with a value of $11.8 billion were exported from Antwerp.
“We note that this downward trend as concerns polished diamonds is a consistent phenomenon across the international diamond trade. India’s demonetization in early November had an immediate impact on trade with India, but slow economic growth in the BRIC countries is at the heart of this issue.”
“In contrast to the polished diamond market, the rough diamond trade is performing very well. While Antwerp’s polished trade followed the downward market trend as compared to the year before, the rough trade corrected this modest slide by gaining an equivalent amount of ground. A total of 190.8 million carats of rough diamonds with a value of $24.8 billion were imported to and exported from the Antwerp diamond market.”
Imports and exports of rough diamonds increased in comparison to 2015. Rough diamond imports to Antwerp totaled 90 million carats valued at $12.1 billion, while rough diamond exports totaled 110.8 million carats valued at $12.7 billion. This represents a 7 percent increase in volume and a 9 percent increase in the value of rough imports. Exports of rough diamonds increased 5 percent in volume and 11 percent in value.
Antwerp diamond trade strengthened it’s position on rough diamond market
AWDC’s proactive approach in this context should not be underestimated. Bringing more rough diamonds to Antwerp is one of the umbrella organization’s priorities. As in previous years, in 2016 AWDC rigorously sought out new and promising markets, and to this end organized several missions to diamond-producing countries such as Brazil. AWDC also redoubled its efforts to maintain its existing relationships with leading producers such as Russia’s ALROSA. The increasing number of rough diamond tenders in Antwerp is a clear result of these efforts, which provide an additional impetus to Antwerp’s rough diamond trade.
AWDC CEO Ari Epstein said, “2016 was a good year, but the future is looking very good. Commercial production started recently at the Renard Mine and Gahcho Kué Mine in Canada, as well as the Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho, and 100 percent of the sales of these goods will take place in Antwerp. We expect these productions to deliver an additional seven million carats onto the market in 2017. Antwerp’s prospects are promising indeed.”
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