Belgium’s polished diamond exports increased in May, aided by higher shipments to Hong Kong and Israel, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
Polished exports rose 1.4% year on year to $1.12 billion, the AWDC said last week. Shipments to Hong Kong grew 13% to $156.7 million, while orders from Israel jumped 55% to $174.9 million. Exports to Switzerland showed particular improvement, more than doubling to $85.6 million. These increases outweighed a 19% slide in exports to the US, which came to $413.1 million.
By volume, total polished exports fell 12% to 422,711 carats, with the average price climbing 15% to $2,658 per carat. Polished imports, meanwhile, increased 9% in value to $1 billion, leaving net polished exports 35% lower at $120.4 million.
Rough imports fell 18% to $1.06 billion, while exports dropped 3% to $1.24 billion during the month. Net rough imports stood at negative $188 million, versus positive $14.8 million a year ago.
Belgium’s net diamond account — representing total exports minus total imports — grew 80% to $308.4 million.
In the first five months of 2017, polished exports fell 9% year on year to $5.06 billion, and polished imports declined 4.7% to $4.98 billion. Rough exports fell 6% to $5.41 billion, while rough imports slumped 16% to $4.67 billion.