Antwerp's rough diamond trade experienced a significant if not extraordinary rise in September, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, while the polished trade could not shake its downward trend.
Rough exports in September increased a whopping 61% in value year on year to $1.42 billion on a 26% increase in volume traded. Antwerp exported 10.8 million carats during the month, compared to 8.5 million carats traded a year ago.
These volumes also exceed by more than a million carats - nearly 12% - the rough exports from the record year of 2014. This only led to a 0.5% increase in value over 2014, accounted for by a 7-10% decline in rough prices.
Rough imports also rose a full 39% in value to $1.2 billion on a spectacular 45.6% increase in volume over September 2015, eclipsing September 2015's rough imports by more than 3 million carats, and September 2014's rough imports by over a million carats - a 13% increase.
For the first nine months of the year, rough exports have increased more than 12% in value to $9.8 billion, and nearly 15% in volume as compared to the first nine months of 2015.
Meanwhile, rough imports have risen nearly 8% in value to $9.3 billion on a 12% increase in volume.
Polished diamond exports were down once again in September, falling around 9% in volume and 11% in value compared to the same month a year ago. Polished imports stayed flat in September in terms of volume at 612,291 carats, leading to a 5% drop in value compared to September 2015. Antwerp imported $1.28 billion in polished goods during the month.
Polished exports to the leading trade partners for the main part fell across the board with the exception of China and the UK, though these countries only represent 3% and 1% of overall export value respectively.
The most noteworthy value declines are found in exports to UAE (-42%) and Switzerland (-34%). The most noteworthy declines in the value of polished imports were recorded for the US (-18%) and Switzerland (-61%); meanwhile, polished imports from India (+36% volume, +25% value), UAE (+31% volume, +44% value) and China (15% volume, 35% value) showed strong increases during the month.
Source: The Diamond Loupe