|The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has released Belgium's rough and polished diamond trading statistics for the first half of 2016, which indicate an 8 percent overall increase of total trading volume for the period, compared with H1 2015.
Exports of polished diamonds from the country during H1 2016 reached 2.94 million carats, valued at US$6.68 billion, down respectively 8.78 percent and 8.41 percent, year-over-year (YoY). Imports were also down, with 3.25 million carats (down 10.83 percent YoY), at US$6.46 billion (down 9.49 percent YoY).
Rough diamond exports for H1 2016 increased 12.9 percent by volume YoY to 56.4 million carats, and rose 4.8 percent by value to US$6.7 billion.
Imports of rough diamonds for the period were 48.52 million carats, 5.61 percent higher compared with H1 2015, and US$6.51 billion by value, a slight increase of 2.44 percent YoY.
Looking month by month at the overall rough and polished import and export figures for H1, a great deal of fluctuation is evident, with an overall decline seen in both the volume and value of polished diamonds traded compared with H1 2015.
Looking back further, and comparing the H1 2016 results with the first half of 2014, we see that while there have been some signs of recovery in the rough diamond trading, polished diamond trading continues to decline, and overall, in both volume and value terms, trading has not recovered to the levels of H1 2014.Commenting on the results for the first half of the year, the AWDC notes that, "While the rough diamond market appears to be making a cautious recovery as compared to last year, the polished diamond trade continues to find it tough going. The significant monthly fluctuations demonstrate that it is too early to draw far-reaching conclusions."