Belgian imports and exports of rough and polished diamonds were largely negative in December and for 2012 as a whole, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
Exports of polished diamonds dropped 17.6 percent on the year to $997.9 million in December, while exports in volume terms slumped 18.9 percent to 534,667 carats.
For all of 2012, polished diamond exports plummeted 18.1 percent to 6.95 million carats, and decreased by 9.8 percent in financial terms to $13.2 billion.
Rough Imports and Exports
Meanwhile, exports of rough diamonds last month jumped sharply on the year, up 38.0 percent to 12.0 million carats, and were 16.7 percent higher at $1.39 billion.
In the January- December period, there was a decline on the year of 2.5 percent to 104.4 million carats, and a 6.3-percent fall to $13.5 billion.
In imports of rough diamonds last month, there was a 26.4 percent increase to 6.65 million carats, and a 12.7 percent increase to $929.8 million.
For 2012 as a whole, rough imports slumped 10.7 percent to nearly 88.3 million carats, while dropping 8.8 percent in financial terms from a year earlier to $12.3 billion.
Polished Imports Figures
Imports of polished diamonds plummeted on the year last month in volume terms, with a 37.0-percent fall to 405,883 carats, and a 29.4-percent decline to $774.8 million.
For the January-December period, polished imports dropped by 17.2 percent to 7.44 million carats, while declining by 8.0 percent to $12.9 billion.
Polished Diamond Export Markets
Belgium's main export markets for its polished diamonds in December and throughout 2012 remained the United States, Hong Kong, Israel, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Exports to the United States were up 27.5 percent last month to $274.8 million, and 16.0 percent higher in volume at 54,113 carats. For all of last year, exports to the United States were down 6.8 percent to $3.63 billion, but up 9.1 percent to 1.11 million carats.
As for Hong Kong, exports soared 24.0 percent to $222.7 million, and 23.2 percent higher to 162,109 carats in December. For 2012, polished exports rose 1.3 percent to $3.17 billion, but declined 4.4 percent to 1.61 million carats.
The AWDC said that diamond exports in 2012 totaled $26.7 billion while imports were $25.2 billion, for a total of$51.9 billion. That compares with a total turnover of $56.6 billion for 2011.