2016 sees slight recovery for Antwerp diamond sector

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 12:22
A sparkling year beckons for the Antwerp diamond industry in 2017. A sparkling year beckons for the Antwerp diamond industry in 2017. © Belga
The Antwerp diamond sector dealt in 5% more diamonds in 2016, being 202 million carats (40.4 tonnes), for a total value of some 48 billion dollars.
This was announced yesterday (Tuesday) by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (“the AWDC” - the sector's overarching organisation). It particularly mentioned a slight recovery after 2015's “annus horribilis.”

The glittering increase should continue into 2017.

On the other hand, the downward trend looks set to continue for cut stones. Indeed exports and imports of cut diamonds both declined compared to 2015, reaching a total of 11.4 million carats (down by 9%) and a value of 23.2 billion dollars (a decrease of 10%).

The AWDC stressed that this downward trend is seen on the global market.

In 2016, the rough diamond market has “indeed” yielded a total of 190.8 million carats dealt in (an increase of 6%), with a value of 24.8 billion dollars (an increase of 10%).

The CEO of AWDC, Ari Epstein, sees 2016 as a critical year, giving “cautiously optimistic” vibes for the current year, in particular with the expected production of mines in Canada and Lesotho. This represents some 7 million additional anticipated carats in 2017.

Employment in the diamond sector has remained stable, the AWDC says, with some 6,600 direct jobs.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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