Belgium’s polished diamond exports slowed in April, dented by a drop in shipments to Hong Kong and the US.
Polished exports fell 13% year on year to $779.4 million, according to figures the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) released this week. By volume, polished orders for the month fell 17% to 376,528 carats, with the average price rising 4% to $2,070 per carat.
Exports to the US slumped 39% to $172.5 million, while shipments to Hong Kong dropped 25% to $122.7 million. Orders from the United Arab Emirates declined 9% to $120.8 million. These three trade partners accounted for more than half of Belgium’s polished exports.
Polished imports, meanwhile, crept up 1% to $883.7 million, meaning net polished exports were negative $104.3 million, versus positive $25.1 million in the same period last year.
Rough trading also tumbled, with imports sliding 43% to $694 million. Rough exports fell 29% to $903 million, leaving net rough imports at negative $209.1 million compared with negative $57.4 million a year before.
Belgium’s net diamond account, representing total rough and polished exports minus total imports, grew 27% to $104.8 million.
In the first four months of the year, polished exports dropped 11% to $3.93 billion, while imports fell 8% to $3.98 billion. Rough imports declined 15% to $3.61 billion, and rough exports were down 7% to $4.16 billion.