After trade in both rough and polished diamonds came to a near standstill on a global level due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past three to four months, Antwerp figures for June indicate cautious signs of recovery on the Antwerp market.
The Antwerp diamond trade came to a nearly complete standstill as a result of the measures announced by the Belgian Government to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is scheduled to reopen next Monday, May 4, and industry organizations the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses (FBDB) are taking measures to ensure it can do so safely.
The cautious optimism that had returned to the Antwerp diamond industry following a robust month of trade in January - and into February for the rough trade - turned out to be short-lived, as the explosive spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus first closed the Eastern markets and gradually made its impact felt across the global diamond industry.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre continues its AWDC Webinar Series this week Friday, April 24 from 12:30-14:00 with a presentation on the "Polished Market: a Q&A with Edahn Golan."
In this webinar, AWDC is having a chat with industry expert Edahn Golan on the current state of the market, what we have learned from previous crises concerning how to manage our business when we are in the midst of one, and advice on how to prepare to reboot your company after COVID-19 has subsided. Mr. Golan will be discussing questions such as
AWDC, IDI and VDBapp have announced they have extended the online diamond trade show, the first show to be held online with two additional days, through to Sunday April 5th.
The Belgian Government has established a range of financial relief measures to support those companies experiencing difficulties resulting from the market downturn caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Over 500 diamond and jewelry professionals have registered to visit an online diamond trade show, starting this Monday March 30, co-organized by The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI). The show, which runs to April 4, provides a virtual trading space where some 70 Belgian and Israeli diamond traders, 43 of which are based in Antwerp, exhibit their goods on the customized Virtual Diamond Boutique trade platform.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) today officially announced the postponement of the African Diamond Conference due to safety and travel concerns arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. The conference was scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa from May 5-6, and will likely be rescheduled for late October.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has released a coronavirus-related update to the Antwerp diamond community, stating that the Diamond Office will remain open. The Diamond Office is essentially the beating heart of Antwerp's diamond trade, being the place where all rough and polished diamonds are imported and exported from the country. In a typical year, that is $46 billion annually, or $210 million every working day.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) are joining forces to host the first ever Online Diamond Trade Show from March 30 to April 4. The 'virus-free trade show' will take place on the Virtual Diamond Boutique trade platform.
If you want to shine, sometimes you just have to take the plunge. It is by taking this attitude that the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) distinguishes itself when it comes to sustainability, specifically by focusing on corporate social responsibility in Africa.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa met in Antwerp with its long-term clients and representatives of the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) to discuss the current market situation and potential scenarios, as well as the needs of rough diamond buyers - the key issue for whom was to receive assurances of purchasing flexibility.
The cautious optimism that had returned to the Antwerp diamond industry following the first month of 2020 was short-lived, as the explosive spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in February effectively closed eastern markets and caused great uncertainty across the global diamond trade. Antwerp's rough-diamond trade still enjoyed the boost from the miners' strong January sales, but the warning signs appeared there as well - particularly toward the end of the month.
The grading & certification lab HRD Antwerp is gearing up for a major restructuring with a fresh vision on the future. Its parent company, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has approved the revitalization strategy proposed by HRD’s new CEO Ellen Joncheere, who was hired a month ago to turn the company around and appears ready to take the bull by the horns. “HRD Antwerp urgently needs to adapt to a changing environment if it is going to grow," she says.
The second major tender of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility, located in the AWDC building, concluded Wednesday 12 February, closing the book on another highly successful sale. As with the first tender, held only two months ago, this one exceeded expectations: organizer Samir Gems sold some 535,000 carats of rough goods for $7.84 million.
The government of South Korea on December 27, 2019 agreed to eliminate its 5% import tax on loose polished diamonds, effectively opening up the South Korean market to new sources of polished diamonds. Yesterday, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) confirmed that Diamond has been designated as a specific good that will be exempted from customs duties pending completion of the final legislative approvals. The abolishment of the import tax is expected to go into effect on April 1.
The anticipated increase in rough-diamond trading activity as the calendar flipped to 2020 lived up to expectations in Antwerp, as the volume of rough imports to Antwerp during the month of January surged 43% compared to the first month of 2019. The 8.1 million carats imported was the most since December 2018 and outpaced January 2019 imports by over 2.4 million carats.
This morning, February 6, some 535,000 carats of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) went on tender at the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility. The tender runs through Februay 12. The leading position of Antwerp as a rough diamond trading center convinced SACIM, a Congolese diamond miner, to hold its second Antwerp tender of DRC rough goods in the past ten weeks.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), on the margins of the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday announced it will be organizing its second African Diamond Conference (ADC) in Durban, South Africa, on May 5 & 6. The program and registration details are available here.
2019 was a challenging year for the global diamond trade. The entire industry, from miners to manufacturers and from diamond traders to jewelry retailers saw their trade figures and profits decline during the past year. Antwerp, as the leading diamond trading hub, was caught in the middle of the industry-wide storm. “Geopolitical instability led to economic turmoil, which negatively impacted consumer confidence,” says Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
In May 2019, the Antwerp diamond industry celebrated the 100th anniversary of the brilliant cut, the world’s most successful diamond shape, created by Antwerp mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky. This anniversary celebration also served as the launch of a unique project called `t Steentje* (‘the Stone’). The project: to polish a single diamond as a community. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Antwerp diamond industry arranged to have 57 well-known (and not-so-well-known) residents of Antwerp polish a single diamond: one person for each facet of a brilliant.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Bain & Company have released their ninth annual report on the global diamond industry: Strong Origins: Current Perspectives on the Diamond Industry.
Antwerp’s rough-diamond trade put a weak October performance in the rear-view mirror in November, as the volume of rough exports in particular rose sharply despite another decline in the average price per carat, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). The polished-diamond sector remained more sluggish than usual in what has been a modest month for trade over the past several years.
Imports and exports of rough and polished diamonds to Antwerp slowed in October on a year-over-year basis as the market recession continued to impact the flow of goods and their prices. High inventories of polished goods continue to soften demand for rough goods to polish, pushing rough as well as polished prices down.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has entered into a partnership with the United Nations Global Compact to develop best practice impact case studies for building awareness and educating key stakeholders across the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail on how businesses can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the RJC recently organized a roundtable discussion with Antwerp-based RJC members.
The Antwerp diamond industry’s import and export figures for the month of September were mainly in line with what we could call ‘2019 normal’ – prices down, polished trade slow – but the volume of rough goods traded in Antwerp’s hit its highest levels of the year, with the quantity of rough exports more than doubling those in August, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre's Diamond Office.
Members of the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be traveling to Antwerp, Belgium, for the organization’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place October 2 and 3, 2019. The yearly gathering of the WDC membership will provide the opportunity to review the position of the diamond and jewelry industry regarding the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, less than two months before the KP ends its current reform and review cycle.
H.E. Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), today paid a visit to the Antwerp diamond industry in the context of a broader mission to improve the relationship between Belgium and the DRC, which has been on the rocks in recent years. As President of the fourth largest diamond-producing country by volume, President Tshisekedi was welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representative of the world’s largest diamond trade center.
From October 22-24, 2019, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) will be hosting the 15th edition of the "Antwerp Diamond Experience", where it will welcome select jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers from across Europe and give them inside access to the world's leading diamond trade center … free of charge, and with no purchase obligation. (Registration link below).
Over the past two weeks, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp welcomed 22 students from 10 different countries and 3 continents to the third edition of its summer school program, “From Mine to Finger: A deep dive in the world of diamonds” As AWDC CEO Ari Epstein explained regarding the motivation behind the summer university, “If we do not reach out to the younger generation, we run the risk of losing those very qualities that set Antwerp apart: forward-thinking, innovation and creativity.
The global diamond industry in the first half of 2019 faced a variety of well-doucmented challenges leading to declining commerce across all segments of the trade.
The organizers of the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair wrote a letter on Thursday to the three diamond trade organizations calling for the postponement of the fair, saying that the September show will be held as scheduled and reassuring them that "there are positive signs indicating that the situation is cooling down." In that regard, they may have spoken too soon, as
Three leading diamond trade bodies have submitted a joint appeal for the postponement of the Hong Kong Gem and Jewellery Fair, September 2019, until there is a more stable climate in the city.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has decided to discontinue its unrestricted funding of the independent Belgian research center WTOCD (Scientific and Technical Research Center for Diamond), citing the downturn in the diamond market and the sharp decline of diamond manufacturing in the city. “The current market situation has led us to take this decision,” says Margaux Donckier, AWDC spokeswoman.
A combination of factors has led to widespread uncertainty and a global downturn in the diamond industry during the first half of 2019. Antwerp - the world’s leading diamond trade centre - has not escaped its impact, particularly in the rough diamond trade. Economic uncertainty generated by an unstable geopolitical climate has also fostered a heightened sense of caution among the banks that finance the trade, as well as diamond brokers and consumers of luxury goods.
A delegation from Angola paid a visit to Antwerp this week as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to restructure and reform the functioning and reputation of its diamond industry, traveling to the diamond capital for consultations regarding implementation of the Kimberley Process (KP) regulations. The visit follows that of President João Lourenço to Antwerp last June, and the Belgian mission to Angola last November, spearheaded by Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the coordinating federation for the Antwerp diamond industry, is joining forces with Ars Nobilis, the umbrella organization for the Belgian jewelry sector, in an effort to streamline the Antwerp diamond trade with jewelry manufacturers and retailers in Belgium. The two representative bodies yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the members of Ars Nobilis will be able to call upon the services of the AWDC regarding legal advice, training, public relations and communication, advocacy and security.
Antwerp’s polished-diamond trade continues to see rising prices in 2019 following a year which the industry recorded its highest ever average price per carat for polished exports. According to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), year-over-year, the average price of polished-diamond exports rose by 42% in April to $2,663 per carat from $1,871 per carat in April of 2018. This led to a 14% increase in the value of polished exports in April despite a nearly 19% decline in the volume of goods exported.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on Tuesday published its second sustainability report (available to download here), looking at the impact the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry has with regard to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), locally as well as internationally.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is enhancing its ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) program. As of May 1, the GIA will require all new and current laboratory clients to confirm the identity and ownership of their businesses, and to provide identifying information for all authorized representatives conducting business with GIA on their behalf. "These requirements are recognized globally and are not unique to GIA," reads a statement from the GIA.