Dubai’s Rough Trade Up 36%

Dubai’s trade of rough diamonds increased by 36 percent to $3.03 billion for the first six months of 2008, the Dubai Diamond Exchange, a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, said Thursday. 

During the first six months of 2008, rough diamond imports to the Emirate grew by 23 percent to reach $1.15 billion—mainly driven by high volumes imported from Angola (75 percent), and a 138 percent rise in imports from China. 

Exports in the first half of 2008 rose 44 percent to $1.88 billion. More than 87 percent of Dubai’s rough diamond exports were to the countries of the European Commission and India, while Dubai’s exports to China increased by 950 percent. 

Angola, India, EC, and China were the top diamond trade partners for Dubai, and jointly accounted for around 85 percent of total trade volumes, the DDE said.

“The continued surge in diamond trade is testament to Dubai’s success in attracting traders from around the world,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC, and deputy chairman of DDE. “We have witnessed healthy growth in bilateral trade with various countries, reflecting the growing confidence in the trading infrastructure and opportunities offered by Dubai.” 

The DMCC, earlier this year, signed memorandums of understandings with People’s Government of Panyu District, China, and Gems & Jewellery Trade Association of China, for promotion of jewelry trade between both countries, with a special focus on diamonds and coloured stones. In addition, DMCC assisted HSBC to establish a diamond banking unit to enable access to finance for the local and regional diamond trade. 

“While exports in terms of carats grew marginally in the first half of 2008, the price of diamond rose by 10 percent and helped push the overall trade to high levels,” said Youri Steverlynck, DDE chief executive officer. “We have also been witnessing sharp increase in rough diamond inventories held in Dubai, which underlines Dubai’s status as a major distribution conduit for leading manufacturing markets.”

DDE plans to hold rough diamond sales weeks every month, starting Aug. 24. Diamonds traded via the DDE during the proposed sales weeks will include production from various mines across the world.