Archive

  • 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.

  • The EU Plenary, which brings together the three pillars of the KP and its many stakeholders, was marked as a unique opportunity to advance the ambitious reform agenda set in 2017. Under the leadership of the EU, the KP discussed an agenda with three priorities: a deepening of the KP, including the reinforcement of the system of controls and the transformation of KP recommendations into minimum requirements; an expansion of the KP by broadening the definition of conflict diamonds; and professionalization of the KP by, among others, the establishment of a permanent KP secretariat.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) took part in the first Belgian State Visit to Canada (BELCAN 2018) in over 40 years, joining the King and Queen of the Belgians, Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem, along with 100 major Belgian companies. Diamonds are the most important product in the trade relations between Belgium and Canada, representing 21% of all Canadian imports to Belgium. Canada is the third largest diamond producing country (in value) worldwide, and Belgium is the world's leading importer of Canadian diamonds.

  • Sergey Ivanov, CEO of ALROSA, held a working meeting in Moscow today with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium Didier Reynders, and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) Stephane Fischler. The parties discussed issues related to the development of bilateral cooperation in the field of diamond trading, as well as cooperation within the framework of industry international organizations. ALROSA and AWDC made a joint presentation focusing on their excellent trade relationship and expressed their willingness to enhance their

  • As the calendar turned on the new year, the European Union took over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds. Under the leadership of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, the EU will head this international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. The EU emphasized that its tenure would be guided by the principles of sustainability, inclusiveness, responsibility and dialogue.

  • According to The National Jeweler, a Delaware judge this week has dismissed the Chapter 11 cases Exelco NV and its subsidiaries filed in the Delaware (US) Bankruptcy Court, ruling that the cases should be heard in Belgium. U.S.

  • According to a Delaware bankruptcy judge, the Exelco - KBC case is "a mess", and he encouraged the diamond wholesaler and the bank to try to disentangle their disputes before proceeding any futher. U.S.

  • Jean-Arthur Régibeau, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Russian Federation, visited the United Sales Organization (USO) ALROSA, and one of Russia's leading diamond cutting facilities - DIAMONDS ALROSA. He met with the heads of subdivisions and got acquainted with the process flow and work principles - and also was shown the amazing Dynasty Collection. “It was a familiarization visit.

  • As Bloomberg first reported last week, Exelco North America, the local branch of the prominent Belgian diamond company Exelco NV, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. in an apparent attempt to prevent KBC Bank from liquidating the company's assests. Back in June, Belgian bank KBC Group NV seized assets from Exelco in an attempt to recover unpaid loans, according to court documents.

  • ALROSA’s new President Sergey Ivanov led a senior delegation from the Russian diamond miner to Antwerp today to get acquainted with their partners at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

  • Earlier this year, India's Jet Airways pulled out of Brussels and relocated their operations to Amsterdam, leaving Brussels Airport without a direct flight to India. Today, after having reached an agreement with Air India, Brussels Airlines has announced that they will start flying directly to Mumbai in March 2017.

  • Antwerp's rough diamond trade rebounded in July, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, while the polished trade could not shake its downward trend. Rough exports in July increased 14% in value to $1.17 billion on a 29% increase in volume traded at 9 million carats, compared to just 7 million carats a year ago. These volumes corrected the slight dip in exports in June. Rough imports also rose 16.5% in value and 22% in volume over July 2015.

  • The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has created an international program to develop the future generation of diamond dealers. The Young Diamantaires initiative was introduced at the 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai in May and will be led by Rami Baron, who was elected chairman of the WFDB's promotion committee at the meeting. The project originates from discussions between the committee's members to encourage communication among younger diamantaires and connect them with newer members of the WFDB’s 30 affiliated bourses.

  • Rough diamond purchases in the first four months of the year were better than expected with around $4 billion in sales as manufacturers and others build up depleted inventories, however the usual seasonal slowdown for several months from May onwards is expected to provide clarity regarding the state of the market, writes Rough & Polished.

  • Antwerp's rough diamond trade continued its path to recovery after the 2015 downturn, as according to the April figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, its rough trade surged 32% in value and 39% in volume compared to April 2015, as Antwerp traded nearly $2.5 billion on 18.75 million carats of rough stones during the month. April rough exports increased nearly 30% year-on-year in volume as well as value, while rough imports spiked by 50% in volume and 34% in value compared to the same month a year ago.

  • Statistics Botswana reports that Botswana's overall diamond exports rose 29% in February year-on-year compared to 2015, yet its exports worth $493M fell more than 10% from January when it exported more than $550M. Meanwhile, diamond imports fell nearly 21% in February 2016 to $220M compared to $277M in 2015, though they spiked more than 60% over January imports. Statistics Botswana said this increase was due to high value of diamond imports for aggregation.

  • Hong Kong's polished diamond imports fell 13% to $4.23 billion in the first quarter of 2016 after shipments from its key supplier markets – India, Israel and Belgium – all trended downwards. Deliveries from India, Hong Kong’s largest diamond trade partner, fell 12% to $1.88 billion. The declines were somewhat offset by an 11% gain on imports from the U.S. and a 4.7% rise in imports from the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong's fourth- and fifth-largest trade partners, respectively.

  • Belgium made clear its intention to develop stronger ties with Angola in the diamond during meetings between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Development Cooperation, Didier Reynders and Angolan officials. Angola's Minister of Geology and Mining, Francisco Monteiro Queiroz, asked Reynders about the possibility of Belgium training Angolans and providing finance and investment for projects in Angola, according to Allafrica.com.

  • Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s (AWDC) Board of Directors met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Belgium last week and came away pleased that they turned out to be on the same page on several issues. “Obviously we are pleased to see that just a day after our meeting with the prime minister, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to allow state banks to approve clean credit facility given by foreign suppliers to Indian importers of rough and polished diamonds, even beyond 180 days," said AWDC CEO Ari Epstein.

  • Indian Prime Minister Modi is paying a visit to Belgium today. Given the importance of diamonds in the trade relations between Belgium and India, the Indian Prime Minister personally welcomed members from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s Board of Directors. AWDC is the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry. Belgium is one of Europe’s top three trade partners with India, and is the second largest exporter of goods to India. This is primarily attributable to the diamond trade.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with a delegation of Indian diamond company representatives from Antwerp during a one-day visit to Brussels on Wednesday, the Hindustan Times reports. Diamonds are by far the largest import-export category in trade between Belgium and India. India exported around $1.5 billion of diamonds to Belgium in the first three-quarters of 2015, and imported around $5.3 billion of diamonds.

  • Standard Chartered Plc is demanding more loan protection from clients in the Indian and Belgian diamond trade as the bank seeks to tighten standards, Bloomberg reported, citing sources knowledgeable about the new policy. The London-based bank has lent around $2 billion to the industry and is requiring diamond manufacturing clients to get payment insurance or provide 100 percent collateral.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Brussels on March 30 to attend the first India-European Union summit in four years. Hopes are high that the first visit of an Indian prime minister to Brussels in six years will reinvigorate EU-India ties and inject new momentum into the relationship, possibly resuming dialogue for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which hasn't materialized despite eight years of negotiations.

  • As the Russian economy worsens and the crisis between Turkey and the Russian Federation remains in deep freeze, Turkish jewelry exporters are looking for new markets for their goods. Producers aim to expand exports by 30% to $3.5 billion this year by focusing on new markets, after seeing decreases of around 15% on the year in 2015 as demand from Russia plunged, reported the Hurriyet newspaper. “Russia and the Turkic republics have been our key markets, but Russian economic activities have ground to a halt since the Ukraine crisis.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has published the February import and export figures for the Belgian diamond industry, which show a massive surge across the board for the rough diamond trade. Rough exports jumped 61% in value compared to last month, with nearly $1.28 billion traded from 12.3 million carats, which also represents a 41% increase in volume compared to January. The February figures also represent a 21% increase in value year-over-year ($1.06 billion in Feb. 2015) and a 30% rise in the volume of carats traded.

  • Diamond companies exhibiting at the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show reported satisfactory activity in the opening days, with visitor traffic stronger than at last year's fair, Rapaport reported. The show for exhibitors of precious gems, semi-precious stones and pearls opened at the AsiaWorld Expo close to Hong Kong's airport on March 1 and runs until March 5.

  • Diamond manufacturing technology maker Sarine Technologies  posted a 32% drop in revenue to $12.4 million in the fourth quarter which ended December 31 due to declining levels of diamond manufacturing. Meanwhile, profits dropped even more – down 62% on the year to $1.5 million in the quarter. For all of 2015, revenue plunged 45% to $48.5 million and profits dropped 87% to $3.6 million.

  • The former top Belgian-Israeli diamond dealer and former De Beers sightholder, Erez Daleyot, who cleared out his Antwerp business leaving behind debts totalling nearly $230 million (€208 million), has thus far eluded his creditors by allegedly hiding out in Israel or South Africa - where he also used to run one of the largest diamond factories, reports Belgian daily De Tijd. Last week, the Antwerp Court of Appeals finally put the case to rest, declaring his former company D.D.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has published the January import and export figures for the Belgian diamond industry, which show that rough exports surged 30% in volume to 8.76m carats compared to January 2015, yet still fell 6.72% in value to $792m (vs. $850m in Jan. 2015). This indicates that manufacturers are mainly replenishing smaller goods. Nevertheless, this result significantly bucks the overall 2015 trend that saw annual rough exports fall 16% in volume and 26.5% in value across the entire year.

  • Despite low expectations among exhibitors at the seventh edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) following reports of a slow holiday sales season for European retail jewelers and diamond distributors, the overall mood "was distinctly upbeat', said the organizers of the January 31-February 2 trade show. The three-day fair is jointly organized by the Antwerp Diamond Bourse (Beurs voor Diamanthandel), the Diamond Club of Antwerp (Diamantclub van Antwerpen) and Antwerp's Rough Diamond Bourse (Antwerpsche Diamantkring) and held in the halls of the Bourse and the Club.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has announced a new pilot project with two FinTech (financial technology) companies - Uphold and FX4BIZ - to offer the diamond industry in Antwerp international transactions across multiple currencies that are fast, transparent and instant. Sixty diamond companies may sign up for these two pilot projects that will run for a full year.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) today announced the Antwerp diamond trade figures for 2015, noting a nearly 18% overall decline in imports and exports in comparison to the record year of 2014. Antwerp traded 48.3 billion USD in 2015 compared to 58.8 billion last year. The rough trade found it particularly difficult in the face of the massive downturn in the manufacturing industry and the widespread glut of rough diamond supply, as the value of exports and imports both fell by approximately 25%.

  • The GIA has extended the submission date for the confirmation service announced on November 25 to March 31 in response to concerns expressed by members of the trade. Anyone with a GIA grading report originally issued between November 2014 and October 2015 who is concerned about the validity of the report due to the unauthorized changes to grading reports uncovered in October 2015 may submit the original report and the referenced diamond to any GIA location for the confirmation service at no charge until the March 31 deadline for submissions, the GIA said in a statement.

  • Under the motto, "If you want it done right, do it yourself", Belgian publication Flair Magazine has launched an "Ask him to marry you" campaign to encourage women to reverse traditional roles and propose to their partners. It will award a $2,500 diamond engagment ring, donated by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, to the most original marriage proposal.

  • Diamond manufacturing technology maker Sarine Technologies reports that the holiday season in the key U.S. diamond jewelry market, which accounts for sales of approximately 40% of worldwide demand, "has overall been positive, with sales generally meeting or exceeding expectations. Furthermore, wholesale buying for the Chinese New Year has commenced positively. There have thus developed, as we had previously surmised, distinct shortages of high-demand goods, primarily in the size range of 0.3 – 2.0 carats, Colors of D – H and Clarity grades of SI1 – I2 (often referred to as U.S.

  • Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has decided not to take action against HSBC, Britain's largest bank, whose Swiss arm helped clients to evade tax. HSBC was hit by a scandal last year when leaked bank account details showed how its Swiss unit helped wealthy customers to evade taxes by concealing assets and handing out cash to avoid the authorities. HSBC’s private banking clients, which also featured 2,000 diamond industry names, held more than $100 billion.

  • Israel's exports of polished diamonds plunged by more than 20% in 2015 from the year before to almost $5.0 billion from $6.27 billion, according to figures released by Shmuel Mordechai, Israel’s Diamond Controller. He said the sharp drop was due to the global decline affecting the diamond industry with falling demand in the United States and China together with the high prices of rough and polished diamonds. However, Mordechai said that the declines have affected the Israeli diamond industry less than other diamond centers.

  • A group of 19 people are to face trial over a $50 million diamond heist at Brussels airport in February 2013, AFP reported citing the Belga news agency. A gang of armed men posing as police seized the gems from a passenger plane about to take off for Zurich in an operation that lasted just 10 minutes without a shot being fired in one of the world's biggest diamond thefts. Prosecutors said nine suspects will go on trial on charges of direct involvement in the robbery and the rest on charges of hiding the diamonds, Belga reported.

  • AWDC has published its November import and export figures for the Belgian diamond industry, which shows little movement from previous months. As has been the case in recent months, rough diamond exports and imports were respectively -28% and -26% for 11M 2015 compared to 2014, declining approximately 1-2% on the September and October figures.

  • The "Market Comments" from Rapaport News cites improvement in polished trading across all major markets this week as the holiday season sparks demand. Limited supplies are generally supporting prices, and not surprisingly, RN mentions the issue of "De Beers overpriced rough" several times. Comments of note include: United States: "Shortages limiting pre-Christmas transactions as dealers struggle to replace shrinking inventories. The market is still tough ...