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.
First Element Bv today announced that they have sold the 162.66Ct exceptional stone on their tender last week held in Antwerp, Belgium. The stone was viewed by over 100 companies during the tender period and received extremely strong interest from the Antwerp market, First Element said, which reflected in the highly competitive bidding for the stone. The stone sold for a total price of well over $3 Million
Alrosa today announced that the combined results of its recent specials auctions in honor of the miners’ 100th auction, totaling US$23.9m. Of that number, US$10.7m came from the sales in Antwerp, US$5.5 from its digital auctions and US$7.7m was achieved from the sale of three large stones (242.31ct, 190.74ct and 136.21ct) at the 100th “Jubilee Auction”.
Lucapa announced a parcel of selected Mothae stones including a 213ct white diamond and 11ct pink, was prepared, analyzed and sold successfully in Antwerp for US$1,050/ct or a total of US$5.9m to the miner’s purchasing partner. The sale was conducted under the partnership agreement with the Kingdom of Lesotho, maximizing revenue for the country through a share in the final sales outcome of the (selected) stones from the parcel, once they are polished in Antwerp.
Grib Diamonds sold over 620K carats of Grib and Angolan production on Thursday 18th March in Antwerp Belgium via its online Ascending Clock Auction. Total revenues were over $50M.
Prices in Specials and +4Gr goods showed continued strength, whilst goods were predictably weaker in the smaller and cheaper areas, Grib commented. The next sale for Grib will start on April 14th
In a press conference earlier today, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, together with the City of Antwerp, announced they would (re)organise a diamond polishing course.
In its next tender, slated for March 17 to 23 in Antwerp, First Element will be offering an exceptional 162ct white stone as part of its South African alluvial production.
Antwerp figures, released by the AWDC, indicate the trade in rough diamonds continues to boost recovery from the pandemic year, as rough trade even surpassed the February figures of 2020. January and February 2020 were the last months before the global outbreak of the COVID crisis, now exactly one year ago, when strong performances were recorded across the board and the industry seemed to finally rise from the dip of 2019.
Petra Diamonds has successfully sold the 299ct Type IIa white rough diamond, recovered from the Cullinan mine in January this year, at its recent Antwerp tender, for US$40,701 per carat or US$12.18 million to Stargems.
Belgian-based company Almax easyLab, a company specialized in producing super precise polished diamonds for high-tech scientific applications, is playing an instrumental role in the recent NASA mission to Mars. They have polished the natural diamond, sourced via Antwerp, the world’s leading diamond hub, that is used in a spectroscope, a device that enables the search of signs of life on Mars, on board of NASA’s Mars-Rover robot Perseverance.
A lovely springtime sun is warming up the Antwerp diamond square mile, boosting temperatures from snowy below zero barely a week ago to a pleasant 15°Celcius. The weather is echoing the sentiment on the market and at Petra Diamonds, as both have emerged from tough times probably stronger than before.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, Petra Diamonds was one of the first to shift gears as the world was paralyzed. The Johannesburg sales were put on hold and the miner started focusing its sales on Antwerp, where operations continued despite global lockdowns.
While most of the world went into lockdown in the spring of 2020, Dubai and Antwerp reopened for business in the summer. Both centers held viewings for goods as clients were unable to travel to remote locations such as - in the case of De Beers clients - Botswana.
In January De Beers’ rough diamond sales reached $650 million, the highest monthly total since 2018. This was in part due to manufacturers replenishing their stock following the holiday season. Despite the company's recent price increase in rough diamonds, revenue is up 18% y-o-y, and 44% above the $452 million it reported in December 2020.
In its latest trade update, Gem Diamonds, the mining company that operates the high value diamond Letšeng mine in Lesotho, presented a remarkably good report considering the impact of the pandemic on the global diamond industry.
In a first sale of Mothae goods this year, Lucapa's Mothae operation sold 4,676ct of rough for nearly US$5.6m, with a number of high value "specials" diamonds (10.8ct+), including the 101 D colour rough recovered at the end of 2020. The rough diamonds, achieving a record price of US$1,198/ct were prepared, analysed and sold in Antwerp to partners, in line with the new marketing agreement Lucapa and the Government of Lesotho made last year, to see Mothae benefit from the cutting and polishing of its precious resources.
While it is clear COVID-19 had a major impact on what will be recorded in history as one of the most difficult years ever for the global diamond industry, one thing is certain, as far as diamond trade is concerned, Antwerp managed to keep the engines running in 2020, fueled by nearly 100 rough tenders that were held in the city in the past year.
Today AWDC President Chaim Pluczenik and AWDC CEO, Ari Epstein, honored retiring ALROSA BELGIUM Managing Director, Sergey Panchekhin, who worked for the Russian miner for more than 20 years, and welcomed his successor, Akil Zubir to the Antwerp diamond community. Apart from leading the Belgian branch of ALROSA, Mr. Panchekhin, who started his career in diplomacy, took up several mandates, including setting up and managing ALROSA offices and operations in Angola.
Lucapa Diamond Company announced the result of a partnership deal with Safdico, cutting and polishing the 46ct pink rough diamond recovered by the Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML). The exceptional rough stone was studied and polished in Antwerp and cut into a 15.2ct, Fancy Intense Orangy Pink heart-shaped diamond, alongside two pear-shaped diamonds of 3.3ct and 2.3ct diamonds.
In the auction concluded on November 24, GRIB Diamonds, the Belgium based diamond trader, owned by AGD Diamonds, netted US$23 million for a total of 8,700ct of rough diamonds, significantly exceeding expected revenue, especially for white goods, including three type IIa stones of 199.43ct, 86.29ct and 50.32ct respectively, each sold for US$1m+.
As restrictions to combat a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic tighten in countries across the globe, Antwerp continues to be operational, a communication from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) which was sent to the local trade community states. Last Sunday, Belgium's Federal government, following other countries across the globe, announced new measures to flatten the curve, but business operations in Antwerp's famous diamond square mile can continue, including at the Diamond Office, where all diamond imports and exports pass through.
In a press release Alrosa, the Russian diamond miner, announced the results of its latest specials tender, held in Antwerp in October. At the tender, where 28 companies participated in bidding, the miner sold 112 rough diamonds, 10.8ct plus or specials, for a total volume of 1,733ct at a total price of US$6.9m. Alrosa choose Antwerp for its sales as the company "tries to meet the needs of customers by offering rough diamonds in the countries where they operate", Evgeny Agureev, Deputy CEO of Alrosa commented.
The Antwerp diamond industry mourns the death of Jacques – Jacky – Korn, who passed away today.
Antwerp’s September figures confirm a further, slow recovery of trade in the diamond city, largely due to increased activity in rough trading, as markets and manufacturing resumed and demand ahead of the holiday season grew significantly. Rough imports amounted to 7.8 million carats, for a total value of US$837 million in September, up 38% in value compared to the same month last year. Rough exports grew 20% in volume and 44% in value, to 12.3 million carats valued at US$1.1 billion compared to September 2019.
In its latest tender in Antwerp, GRIB Diamonds sold over 400,000ct of rough diamonds from its mine in the Russian Federation with proceeds in excess of US$ 25 million as well as US$ 2 million of Angolan goods. According to GRIB Diamonds, prices were slightly lower, on average 5%, as the market recalibrates after the large increase in demand seen in the September GRIB spot sale.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has announced the appointment of six new Board Members representing the trade on the Board of Directors. In the past two days, the Antwerp diamond community participated in Covid-19 safe elections at the AWDC’s building, choosing two representatives among their peers of small, medium-sized and large companies, as voters and candidates are divided in three categories, according to their average turnover.
Mountain Province, owning a 49% interest in the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories, resumed Antwerp sales this week for the first time since the pandemic broke out, a positive signal that boosted the miner's stock, up 9% on Monday. “The results of the first small sale, post the covid-19 pandemic are an encouraging start considering that the market has been at a standstill for nearly six months. The results of the sale were a positive sign as the markets for rough and polished diamonds start to return.”, CEO Stuart Brown commented.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Israeli Diamond Institute, in collaboration with VDB Expo, this morning kicked off a three day Online Diamond Trade Show, featuring 50 exhibitors from Israel and Antwerp. The event, which is open 24 hours a day and has direct communication features including live videochat, already has 800 registered professional buyers, from over 50 different countries. In the pre-covid era, traders would now be gearing up to ship goods and travel to the Hong Kong September show.
HB Company, the Antwerp-based diamond and manufacturing company is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of the Antwerp manufacturing branch of AMC, diamond manufacturing company and De Beers Sightholder, taking over the entire Antwerp staff, technology and equipment. HB Company, which in past months announced a partnership with Louis Vuitton, to cut and polish the Sewêlo, and Lucara Diamond, to purchase all of their 10.8ct+ rough stones, is planning on more recruiting in the coming months, focusing on innovation and the Antwerp legacy in diamond polishing.
Figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre on the first six months of the year indicate that in terms of value, trade in the world’s diamond trade hub halved as a consequence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global diamond and jewelry business.
ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, is closing its Hong Kong diamond business as part of a global trimming of the bank's operations, predominantly outside of Europe. In 2018, ABN AMRO already shut down its US and Dubai diamond operations. A few months ago, the bank reported a net loss of 395 million euros, the first loss in years, and announced it would be reviewing its strategy.
Following the success of the Online Diamond Trade Show, held earlier this year, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI), have re-joined forces to host a second edition of the show from the 14th till the 17th of September. The 'virus-free trade show' will take place on VDB Expo, a platform for conferences and trade shows created by and powered by Virtual Diamond Boutique.
First Element Diamonds Services recently held the Jagersfontein Developments and Rooipoort Developments tender which concluded on Friday the 7th of August at the Antwerp Tender Facility. According to the company, the tender was exceptionally well attended and delivered strong results. Both of the mines offered their full Run of Mine productions which consisted of everything from Special +10.8Ct stones down to Melee goods.
Lucara Diamond Corp has announced a unique partnership with the Antwerp-based company HB in which HB will buy all of the diamonds in excess of 10.8ct produced at the Karowe mine in Botswana, since March, and for the remainder of the year. About 70% of the rough mined by Lucara consists of larger, high value stones, and none of those have been up for sale since the pandemic broke out. In this unique supply agreement, HB will pay a price based on the estimated polished outcome, based on scanning and planning results.
On July 10th Grib Diamonds sold over $16M of rough diamonds from its fully owned Grib Diamond Mine in Russia. The rough diamond market is going through continued tough times with re-imposed lockdowns in the main cutting centre, India. However, Grib was able to sell more than 92% of the goods on offer and approximately 300k carats. According to Grib Diamonds, prices were slightly softer than the June sale with a small single digit reversal on June.
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.
In a statement Gem Diamonds has announced it has sold all large diamonds during its latest Antwerp tender, organized in strict compliance with COVID-19 measures. The company realized an average $/ct price of $1707 in H1, up from an average $/ct of $1687 in H1 and $1506 in H2 2019 respectively. A 13 carat pink diamond achieved $40,110 per carat, and a 61 carat white Type II diamond achieved $31,400 per carat. 15 diamonds sold in H1 2020 for in excess of $1 million each and one diamond for over $5 million.
Grib Diamonds, the Antwerp-based marketing arm of Russian miner AGD Diamonds, on June 16 sold over $20 million of rough diamonds from its fully-owned Grib Diamond Mine in Russia. Despite the troubled times the rough diamond market is going through, Grib was able to sell more than 90% of the goods on offer and approximately 350k carats.
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.