There was a significant slowdown in the Belgian diamond trade in July, as it dropped some 20% by nearly any measurement. The slowdown is not surprising. Many traders in the past few weeks have complained that the Antwerp market has been very slow in the past few weeks.
Belgium exported $1.56 billion worth of polished diamonds in July, a 19.7% year-over-year decline. The volume of exports fell 22.9% to 911,113 carats, according to figures published Monday by AWDC.
Imports by the diamond-trading center totaled $1.18 billion, down 20%. Here too, the volume of imports dropped 23% to 680,710 carats.
The decline in trade is a deterioration compared to the June, during which trade cooled to flat with the previous year.
The decline should be placed in its proper context: Polished diamond trading sizzled last year, peaking in July 2011. The August figures are expected to be far more moderate.
The most significant decline in exports is to India, falling 60.5% to $72.6 million.