Antwerp's Polished Diamond Trade Gains Value on Higher Prices in June, Rough Prices Fall

Market Analysis
04/07/2018 13:07

Antwerp's polished diamond trade in June rode rising prices to another month of gains, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), as the Belgian polished trade reasserted its modest upward trend in 2018. The value of polished exports increased 4% year-over-year to $1.04 billion despite 6 percent decline in the volume of goods traded, backed by a 10% climb in average price per carat, to $2,395 from $2,183. The average price did fall short of a May high of $2,688 per carat, likely skewed by the value of goods flowing to Las Vegas for the JCK trade show. Meanwhile, the value of polished-diamond imports to Belgium increased by 7% year-over-year to $1.54 billion on a 2% rise in the volume of goods imported and a 5% rise in average price per carat.

For the year thus far, the polished trade has slowly built up incremental gains over the first six months of 2017, as the value of polished exports have risen by 1% to $6.13 billion, despite a 1% decline in volume to 2.54 million carats. Polished imports have gained 2% in value and now stand at $6.18 billion, riding a 4% increase in volume.

Antwerp’s rough trade for the month of June tumbled on a year-over-year basis due to a comparative decline in rough prices. The value of rough imports in June fell by 13% year-over-year to $864 million from $998 million as the average price per carat fell 14% to $108 per carat. The volume of imports increased by a single percentage point to just under 8 million carats. Compared to last month, the volume of rough imports actually increased by 1.3 million carats, but their average price tumbled by 21% per carat, from a robust $136 per carat. For the first six months of the year to date, the value of rough imports is still up by 4%, totaling $5.9 billion on a 1% increase in volume to 49 million carats.

The value of rough exports in June also declined 8% y-o-y, as the average price per carat fell by 6% and volume was down 2%. Compared to last month, the value of rough exports declined by 7% to $1.09 billion based solely on a decline in volume, as prices held steady at $99 per carat month to month. For the year to date, the value of rough exports has risen by 4% to $6.85 billion despite flat volume exports (+0.11%), which now stand at 66.84 million carats. For the year to date, the average price of polished exports is up by less than a percentage point, while the average price of rough imports - after the downturn this past month - has risen by about 4%.