While the pandemic continues to affect the world, among others forcing India’ s Bharat Diamond Bourse to temporary close operations, Antwerp’s Q1 figures further confirm the industry’s recovery, set in motion in Q4 2020. According to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), releasing the figures, the data demonstrates Antwerp’s dominant position as the world’s most important rough diamond trade hub.
Year-on-year, the total value of traded rough diamonds on the Antwerp market rose to nearly US$5 billion, or 50 million carats of imported and exported rough diamonds. The 25% jump is impressive considering January and February 2020 - the last months before the global outbreak of the COVID crisis – were considered strong months as the industry was emerging from the 2019 dip. Rough imports were up 13% in value to 24 million carats, while exports rose 40% in value, to nearly 25 million carats compared to Q1 2020.
As for polished, the increases are more modest, but significant to indicate market recovery in the industry’s main consumer markets. Compared to the same period in 2020, volumes of exported and imported polished combined are up to +2 million carats, equaling US$ 3.6 billion. Exports to China even increased 435% in volume and 461% in value and to the US rose 44% and 23% respectively.