The value of polished diamond exports from Antwerp jumped by 7% y-o-y as their volume surged by 30% in the month of August. The sharpest value increase was in exports to Switzerland (+84%), while those to the US remained flat and those to Hong Kong fell by 10%. Polished imports fell by 14% in volume but only 3% in value. Meanwhile, the volume of rough diamond exports from Antwerp remained comparatively high in the holiday month of August as the industry took a three-week break.
According to figures published by the AWDC, on a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports as well as imports increased by nearly 25%, while the value of rough exports dropped by 8% and imports by 1%. This marks the third consecutive month where the volume of rough has risen on a year-over-year basis, while its value lags behind. Clearly, lower-priced rough is the prevailing trend in the diamond trade.
For the year 2017 to date (Jan.-August), which gives a truer picture than August - the slowest month of the year - the volume of rough exports has increased by 19% to 83.4 million carats compared to the same period a year ago, while falling 2% in value to $8.2 billion. A similar trend is found on the import side, as rough volumes increased by 4% while their value has fallen by 12%, the same percentage by which De Beers’ sales fell in Cycle 7. Polished exports are still down by 7% on the year, while polished exports have fallen by 6% in value.