Diamond district in Antwerp, Belgium
Belgium’s polished and rough diamond trade increased sharply in May, demonstrating a strong rebound from last year when business was heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Polished diamond exports reached US$555.21 million, up 161.45 per cent from year-ago figures while imports saw a 168.43 per cent hike to US$603.44 million, data from Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) showed.
Exports of rough diamonds meanwhile grew 620.78 per cent to US$883.09 million while imports saw a 362 per cent upswing to US$663.86 million. Top polished diamond export markets were the US, Hong Kong and Israel while major import markets include India, the US and United Arab Emirates.
A joint report by AWDC and Bain & Company earlier predicted healthy recovery in the diamond industry in 2021 on the back of growing demand. The Global Diamond Report 2020-2021 – Brilliant Under Pressure revealed that the diamond sector fared better than the personal luxury market during the pandemic in 2020.
Diamond jewellery sales amid lockdowns, travel restrictions and economic uncertainties dipped by 15 per cent in 2020, with severe losses recorded in the first and second quarters. The luxury sector is expected to have declined by 22 per cent last year.
The report said 2021 started on a strong trajectory and growing market confidence, with most miners reporting an increase in prices and retailers seeing strong demand for diamond jewellery. Encouraged by the sector’s year-end performance, the long-term outlook for the diamond market remains positive, according to the report.