Dubai’s Rough Diamond Trade Hits $1.5 Billion

Dubai’s rough diamond trade rose by 32 percent during the first quarter of 2008 to reach $1.52 billion, up from $1.15 billion during the corresponding period in 2007.

Imports rose by 23 percent to $611 million, up from $496 million, while exports rose to $915 million from $656 million, an increase of 39 percent over the same period in 2007.

“Despite global concerns over rising prices, Dubai’s rough diamond trade continues to grow steadily, providing clear evidence of the value added services offered by the Emirate,” said Youri Steverlynck, chief executive officer of Dubai Diamond Exchange.

Angola, the European Community (primarily Belgium, UK, and Germany), and India were Dubai’s top trade partners for rough diamonds for the period. Imports from Angola stood at $240 million, an increase of 60 percent over the corresponding period in 2007, while imports from the European Community stood at $180 million, up from $132 million, during the same period in 2007.

The European Community was the top exporter of rough diamonds during the period, with exports reaching $458 million, up from $305 million during the same period in 2007—an increase of almost 50 percent. Exports to India increased by 19 percent over the corresponding period in 2007, to $226 million.

Dubai’s top ten trade partners for rough diamonds were: the European Community, India, Switzerland, China, Lebanon, Russia, Thailand, South Africa, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Trade with China grew considerably during this period with exports rising by over 670 percent, underlining China’s growing significance as a jewelry manufacturing destination, Dubai trade officials said.