Belgium exported polished diamonds with a value of US$1.056 billion in October, down 4.4 percent on the year, according to data supplied by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
However, exports in volume terms jumped 12.8 percent to 601,054 carats from 532,782 carats, indicating that the price of goods has risen strongly. The average price per carat of polished exports in October was US$569 compared with US$482 in October 2011.
For the first 10 months of 2012, polished diamond exports plunged 18.6 percent to 5.85 million carats, and decreased by 9.2 percent in financial terms to US$11.06 billion.
Rough Exports and Imports
Meanwhile, exports of rough diamonds last month jumped sharply on the year, with a 143-percent rise to 10 million carats, and 67.2 percent higher to US$1.24 billion.
In the January-October period, there was a decline on the year of 5.3 percent to 85.2 million carats, and an 8.1 percent fall to almost US$11.1 billion.
Imports of rough diamonds last month soared by 50.7 percent to 9.74 million carats, and 29.1 percent up to US$1.16 billion.
For the first 10 months of this year, rough imports slumped 14.6 percent to nearly 73.8 million carats, while dropping almost 12 percent in financial terms from a year earlier to US$10.2 billion.
Polished imports dropped 9.9 percent to US$1.07 billion in October, and saw a decline of 2.4 percent in volume to 685,747 carats.
For the January-October period, polished imports slumped 16.9 percent to nearly 6.5 million carats, while dropping 5.8 percent to close to US$11.1 billion.
Polished Diamond Export Markets
The leading export destinations for Belgium's polished diamonds were the United States, Hong Kong, Israel, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Exports to the United States were 8.8 percent higher in financial terms last month to US$309.8 million, but 76.1 percent higher in carat terms at 102,000 carats. For the year so far, exports to the United States are down 7.8 percent to US$2.99 billion, but up 10.8 percent to 990,344 carats.
Meanwhile, exports to Hong Kong jumped 28.2 percent to US$151.3 million, and 14 percent higher to 87,256 carats. For the year so far, polished exports are down 1.3 percent to US$2.68 billion, and 6.6 percent lower to 1.31 million carats.