Antwerp Rough Market Thrives with Double Digit Growth in H1, Outperforms 2019

In-depth
16/07/2021 09:47

Figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on the trade in Antwerp in the first six months of the year demonstrate the city is back on track of the pre-pandemic upturn seen in the first few months of 2020, outperforming 2019 figures on rough trade with double digit growth.

Compared to the same period in 2019, in terms of total value of traded rough diamonds, Antwerp records a +11% increase to US$10,4bn and a 7% jump in terms of volume to 99m ct. According to the AWDC, Antwerp hosted more than 75 diamond tenders in H1, boosted by strong rough prices and the city’s critical mass of buyers and sellers. Karen Rentmeesters, Senior Manager Industry Relations; “Despite the lingering constraints of the pandemic, with second and third waves in many places around the world, Antwerp has proven to be a safe haven for producers to sell their rough, where they can achieve consistent, high value for their goods. It is no surprise that, while competing hubs were forced to cancel tenders, new supply of rough found its way to Antwerp, and continues to be sold here, demonstrated by very strong rough import figures and a busy market.”

In H1, Antwerp imported US$5bn worth of rough diamonds, compared to US$2.7bn in H1 of the pandemic year 2020 and US$4.3bn in 2019, up nearly 15% y-o-y comparing 2021 with the last “normal” year 2019.  In terms of volume, imports jumped from 32m ct in the same period in 2020 and 40m ct in 2019 to 47m ct in the past six months, or a +17% increase comparing 2021 with 2019.

While the rough business is booming, polished trade is lagging behind somewhat, with a total volume of 4,3m ct with a value of US$7,4bn in traded polished goods. Karen Rentmeesters; “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there have been no trade shows whatsoever, which traditionally create a lot of movement of polished goods. In addition, the devastating third wave in India in the first half of this year had a major impact on the somewhat slower trend of polished business picking up throughout the global industry, but the last three months show positive signs.” In April, polished imports in volume in Antwerp equaled 2019 levels, jumping over the June 2019 figures and a similar trend is noticeable for polished exports.”