According to Reuters, De Beers, together with the government of Botswana is looking into (temporarily) shifting its sight viewings from Gaborone, Botswana, to major trading hubs, closer to their clients, for example in Antwerp. Reuters cites De Beers Executive Vice President, Diamond Trading, Paul Rowley; “If we can move our product closer to them it would give us the flexibility to restart sales as soon as the markets reopen”.
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.
Mid-tier miner Petra Diamonds has been keeping us up to date with regards to the impact on the company of the global COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately reporting that they experienced depressed and opportunistic bidding for its diamonds at its fifth sales cycle of FY 2020, particularly in the larger size and higher quality, greater value categories. Petra therefore chose to only sell a portion of its South African goods, representing approximately 75% by volume and 50% by value.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, several industry initiatives are taken to provide relief across the world to all those affected by the crisis.
The oubreak of the coronavirus has led to uncertainty concerning Lucara Diamond's next rough diamond tender, prompting the Government of Botswana to already give Lucara its permission to hold their next scheduled tender in Antwerp, if necessary. The next quarterly tender isscheduled to take place in mid May 2020, according to a statement from the Canadian miner.
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.
Gem Diamonds held a tender of small diamonds in Antwerp from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, earning $7.8 million at the sale which concluded earlier this week. The miner called the results "resilient" given the circumstances, as the average price per carat fell 18% below the like-for-like prices reached at the last small diamond tender held in November last year before the Covid-19 economic crisis.
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.
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.
Koin International will hold a rough tender for the Kimberley Ekapa Mine (KEM) production from Kimberley, South Africa, from 27 February to 4 March. The tender includes an exceptional 82ct yellow diamond, recovered in February.
The Kimberley Underground mines have a history of producing large diamonds and fancy yellows, such as the Oppenheimer (253 carats rough). The largest diamond ever recovered at Kimberley Underground was +800 carats and the mine is also the source of the Kimberley Octahedral, at 616 carats, one of the largest uncut diamonds in the world.
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.
Concern about the impact of the coronavirus on the diamond and jewelry trade is growing, not only in China, but also in the markets that supply China, like Hong Kong and India. Events have been concelled, retail sales have plummeted and the outbreak of the virus in China has already had a ripple effect on diamond supply chains as the death toll passes 1,000. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
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.
Gem Diamonds officially rang in the new year with the recovery of an exceptional 183-carat white Type IIa diamond on 3 February 2020. On the same day, the company said, they also recovered another two high-quality diamonds, one of 89 carats and the other of 70 carats, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.
Bonas Couzyn tender house in Antwerp will hold a special tender of a 183.54 carat diamond from the Cuango mine in Angola. The stone (pictured) was shipped to Bonas directly from the Sociedade Mineira do Cuango in Angola.
In what could turn out to be a pivotal development in rough diamond financing for Alrosa's long-term clients, Antwerp-based international company Dali Diamond has signed a loan agreement with Eximbank of Russia (part of the Russian Export Center Group) for the financing of rough diamond purchases from Alrosa. Financing for the purchase of rough diamonds has been a major concern in recent years as several banks have reduced their exposure to the diamond market or withdrawn from it altogether.
Press release, Antwerp: The HB Company, the leading, cutting-edge diamond manufacturer from Antwerp, today announces its collaboration with Louis Vuitton and Lucara Diamond Corp.
Following the tremendous success of the first ever direct tender in Antwerp of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a second tender of 500,000 carats will be held in the coming weeks. Featuring rough stones from SACIM SARL (Anhui-Congo Mining Investment Company) mined in the Province of Kasaï Oriental, with 10-15% of gem-quality, the tender is being organized by Samir Gems and hosted by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in its Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility. The tender takes place from 6 - 12 February 2020.
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.
International rough diamond brokerage and marketing service provider I. Hennig today announced the launch of its innovative state-of-the-art online rough trading platform: “Virtual Broker”. Virtual Broker (VB) provides a secure environment for rough diamond trading where sellers and buyers negotiate online directly between themselves on a wide range of goods.
Grib Diamonds today (11 December) sold more than $30M and 370K carats though its online Spot Auction in Antwerp. The diamonds included, for the first time, goods purchased from Angola as well as its usual Russian production from its wholly owned mine in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
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.
Russian miner AGD Diamonds' most recent rough diamond auction on the electronic sales platform of its trading subsidiary, Grib Diamonds NV, fetched over $25 million. The company noted an increase in demand for diamond goods and a pickup in the diamond market. AGD commented that the prices they achieved represented a cessation of the decline in average prices and that the first signs of market stabilization are now tangible. The company said it expects a full recovery of demand and rough prices in the second half of 2020.
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.
Starting November 14, 350,000 carats of rough Congolese diamonds worth an estimated $6 million will go on tender in Antwerp, as the DRC and Antwerp take a first major step toward implementing a cooperation agreement signed in September to facilitate access for DRC miners to Antwerp’s transparent diamond market, and in particular its tender houses. The complete parcel will contain approximately 15% gem-quality goods and 85% industrial-grade diamonds, with closing bids on November 20.
Stornoway Diamond Corp. is a Canadian diamond exploration and producing company that developed the Renard mine over the course of two decades from a grassroots exploration project to a world-class diamond mine - the first in Québec. The massive project, built for $774 million - under their budget of $811 million - sparked enthusiasm across the diamond industry, which has seen few new mines open in recent years. Stornoway delivered the first ore to the processing plant in July 2016 and achieved full production in the summer of 2017.
Diamcor Mining Inc., a TSX-listed junior diamond mining company with operations in South Africa, sold 4,033 carats of rough diamonds at its first tender in Antwerp and has delivered another 6,369 carats which it expects to sell at a second tender at Koin International in Antwerp in November. A third tender is planned for December. The more than 10,000 carats of rough diamonds expected to be delivered and tendered in Q3 represents a significant increase compared to 3,882 carats delivered and tendered in Q2.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has exported a 46 carat Lulo pink diamond to Antwerp and it is currently undergoing studies for polishing (initial possible polished solutions pictured above). A decision on the optimal polished solutions will be taken by the Sociedade Mineira do Lulo (SML) and the Lulo partners once the studies are concluded. While Antwerp is not the manufacturing center it once was, many of the world's most valuable and complex rough diamonds still find their way to Antwerp for analysis and polishing.
Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
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.
With less than two months to go before the Kimberley Process (KP) ends its current reform and review cycle at the 2019 KP Plenary in New Dehli, the World Diamond Council (WDC) met in Antwerp for its Annual General Meeting to refine their System of Warranties and prepare to make a final push to strengthen the definition of conflict diamonds before the reform and review cycle closes.
With their Annual General Meeting kicking off tomorrow in Antwerp, the World Diamond Council (WDC) today issued a statement concerning rough diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR). The WDC is an industry organization representing the full range of diamond-related organizations, including miners, manufacturers, retailers and trade organizations.