The Antwerp diamond trade in 2018 as a whole continues to outpace its performance during 2017, showing a double-digit increase in the value of rough goods traded and steady figures from the polished trade compared to the same period a year ago. According to figures published by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the rough diamond trade in April continued to shine, with the value of rough exports increasing nearly 17% year-over-year, while rough imports surged by 43%. Meanwhile, the polished diamond trade suffered from a sharp decline in average diamond prices, pushing the value of goods trade down despite an increase in the volume of goods traded.
April rough diamond exports increased 11% in volume and 17% in value to $1.05 billion from $903 million in April last year, yet slowed significantly compared to the previous month, declining by 19% in volume and 29% in value. Rough imports showed a huge upswing year-over-year, as shipments to the diamond capital rose by more than 56% in volume and a little more than 43% in value compared to March 2017. Nonetheless, the rough trade was still a little slower than in March, experiencing a 14% decline in volume and 15% in value. For the first four months of the year, rough exports have risen nearly 10% in value compared to the first four months of 2017, reaching nearly $4.6 billion, while the value of rough diamond imports has risen by 14% to $4.1 billion.
In the polished diamond trade, the value of polished exports during the first four months of the year has stayed nearly level (-0.62%) compared to the same period a year ago, at $3.9 billion. However, the value of polished diamond exports in April fell by 7% compared to the same month a year ago, despite a 3% increase in the volume of goods traded, as the average price per carat fell to $1,870 from $2,070 during the same month a year ago. The decline in the average price of polished exports is even more noteworthy in comparison to last month, where the average price reached $2,570 per carat. Accordingly, the value of polished diamond imports in April also fell by nearly 3% despite a more than 29% increase in the volume of goods traded, again revealing a sharp decline in polished prices. For the first four months of the year, polished imports have increased by 9% in volume, yielding a 1% increase in value at over $4 billion.