After a slow start to the diamond trade this year, continuning the trend seen during the latter half of 2018, the Antwerp diamond trade showed a marginal improvement in the trade in rough diamonds during February, though the polished trade continued to lag, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) yesterday.
During February 2019, the Antwerp centre exported over 9.85 million carats of rough at a value of US$ 853.55 million, a marginal year-on-year increase of 3.03% in terms of volume, but a large 16.56% decline in value terms. Rough imports too inched up by 1.69% in volume terms but dropped by a large 28.36% in value terms – with 6.95 mn carats of rough being imported at US$ 683.66 million as compared to a year earlier.
Trade in polished also slowed. In February 2019, the Antwerp centre exported 461,242 cts of polished at a value of US$ 1.24 bn, a drop of 8.40% in volume terms, and of 2.86% in value terms year-on-year. During this period, the centre imported 382,345 cts of polished at a value of US$ 769.66 mn, registering a fall of 2.33% in volume terms but a 7.08% rise in value terms as compared to February 2018.
During the first two months of 2019, rough exports totalled 17.96 mn cts at US$ 1.60 bn, showing a decrease of 12.44% in volume terms and of 21.59% in value terms, while rough imports of 12.63 mn cts at US$ 1.35 bn were down 20.08% y-o-y in volume terms and 31.14% in value terms.
Polished exports during the Jan-Feb 2018 period stood at 778,808 cts at US$ 2.02 bn, down 8.93% in volume and 3.50% in value, and polished imports of 966,105 cts at US$ 1.71 bn, was down 3.62% in volume and 2.33% in value terms y-o-y.