May 2010 turned out to be the fifth consecutive month when Belgium’s exports of rough and polished diamonds have increased, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Polished exports in the month rose 4.0 percent to 629,984 carats, and 39.0 percent in value to $920.5 million, as compared to May 2009. In the first five months, polished exports rose 29.3 percent rise in value to $4.26 billion, and 2.3 percent in volume to 2.95 million carats, as compared to the corresponding five months in 2009.
The AWDC notes that buyers are willing to pay higher prices per carat for polished goods, and the rise in demand could be due to restocking at wholesale and retail levels after a considerable period of destocking due to the global recession.
Rough exports in May 2010 rose 64.8 percent to 11.0 million carats and 51.8 percent in value terms to $857.2 million. Like exports, imports of rough diamonds too showed high increases, with the rise in dollar terms indicating that dealers and manufacturers have faith in the continuing rise in prices of rough goods. Rough imports in May 2010 rose 63.7 percent to 8.74 million carats and by 73.6 percent to $705.1 million, as compared to May 2009. In the first five months of this year, rough imports soared 65.8 percent on the same period of 2009 to 50.4 million carats worth $4.0 billion, a rise of 101.4 percent.
Polished imports rose 3.3 percent to 612,563 carats in May this year, and 44.7 percent in value to $733.5 million. Between January-May, polished diamond imports increased 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 3.21 million carats worth $3.97 billion, a rise of 28.5 percent.