Antwerp figures, released by the AWDC, indicate the trade in rough diamonds continues to boost recovery from the pandemic year, as rough trade even surpassed the February figures of 2020. January and February 2020 were the last months before the global outbreak of the COVID crisis, now exactly one year ago, when strong performances were recorded across the board and the industry seemed to finally rise from the dip of 2019.
Compared to February 2020, in terms of value, Antwerp’s rough exports rose 20% to US$862m, for 8,3m cts, while rough imports rose 28% in value, to US$877m, for 8,3m cts. Antwerp’s strong tender performances continue, with tender houses reporting strong prices and fully booked appointment schedules. As Belgium’s Covid figures have remained stable for the past months and the vaccination campaign is accelerating, the country is starting to ease Covid restrictions. Because of the high concentration of buyers and sellers present in Antwerp, the city has been able to continue operations throughout the pandemic, and in addition, more foreign buyers are also finding their way to the trade hub, as travel for professional reasons is permitted under certain conditions.
Polished exports were slightly down, 4,7% in terms of volume, to 273.210ct, while imports were down 1,8% to 361.081ct. In the first two months of the year, polished exports to China rose more than 300% in terms of volume, 225% in terms of value, for the US exports rose more than 40%, underscoring China and the US are driving demand.