Ashit Mehta, Director of Arjav Diamonds, comments on the recent Rapaport Article, dated June 26, 2019 - Belgium’s Rough Trade Slumps in May.
Ashit’s Comments: After 2009, this is the first time we see a drop in rough exports from Belgium. There are a few reasons for that to happen.
Firstly, the rough prices do not match the present polished prices. Secondly, Banks from both Belgium and India are more in a withdrawing mode. Prices of rough have dropped vis-à-vis a year ago and with stiff prices from miners, all direct purchases have reduced as clients are taking a more careful outlook.
I am specifying the actual reasons, from a manufacturers/traders point of view and below Rapaport’s article will show you the data comparison as how much decline can be seen in Belgium’s rough trade. Please read.
RAPAPORT... Rough exports from Belgium dropped 37% year on year to $741.5 million in May, reflecting continued weakness in the sector. Rough imports fell 16%, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The polished trade was more stable, with imports climbing 6% during the month. Polished exports were flat, as the average price rose to the highest level on record for the country, offsetting a decline in volume.
Source: Antwerp World Diamond Centre/Rapaport archives
About the data: Belgium is usually a net exporter of polished diamonds. As such, net polished exports — representing polished exports minus polished imports — will normally be a positive number. The nation is also a net exporter of rough. While Antwerp is home to some high-value manufacturing, its main role in the market is as a facilitator of rough-diamond trading, with companies from around the world coming to the city to buy rough. The net diamond account is total rough and polished exports minus total imports. It is Belgium’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by exporting rough or manufacturing it into polished
Image: Diamond processing. (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)
Rough diamonds, Belgium, Antwerp Diamond Centre, Rough Trade