Top Diamond Importing And Exporting Countries

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The world’s diamond mining is concentrated in the major primary deposits accounting for about 60 percent of the global diamond production. The remaining production is concentrated in placer deposits, the principal of them located in the DRC's Mbiji Mayii region and Zimbabwe's Marange region.

Top Diamond exporting countries are:

  • Albania
  • Bahrain
  • Czech Republic
  • Laos
  • Norway

Top Diamond importing countries are:

  • India
  • United States
  • Hong Kong
  • Belgium
  • United Arab

Top Diamond Importing And Exporting Countries

Russia and Canada are the biggest diamond-producing countries in the northern hemisphere. While in the southern hemisphere, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia are the largest diamond-producing countries.

Russia

Based on sheer volume, Russia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rough diamonds. In 2014, an estimated 38 million carats of rough diamonds were retrieved from Russian mines. The main mine the Alrosa accounts for 90 percent of Russia’s yearly diamond production.
In Russian mines, diamonds of all shapes and sizes are unearthed. They’re known for their fluorescence and their crystalline shape: sharp diamonds with eight facets. Several Russian mines also produce diamonds with a yellow hue.

Botswana

Botswana is the world leader based on the value of the diamonds mined there. In terms of volume, however, this country comes second, after Russia. Botswana is also home to the De Beers company and produces the majority of the company’s diamonds. The country has 7 mines, of which Orapa and Jwaneng are the most important. Both these mines are used by the De Beers Company. Other players in this African country are Lucara and Kimberley Diamonds. In Botswana, a wide range of diamond shapes and colors can be mined. For the most part, the diamonds are of high quality and have a dodecahedron shape.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC is the largest diamond producer on the African continent. The country has a long mining history and, based on volume, it’s the third-largest diamond producer in the world.
The majority of the production is done informally and not by large mining companies. According to estimations, about 700,000 artisanal miners are active in the sector. The only commercial diamond producer is Miniere de Bakwange, a joint venture between the Belgian enterprise Sibeka and the Congolese authorities. The De Beers Company has holdings of 20 percent in Sibeka and sells approximately one-third of the diamonds mined in the country. Currently, diamonds are still mined on a small scale, in a small area. The MIBA produces diamonds of a lower quality, compared to the other mines. In other regions, high-quality white diamonds are unearthed.

Australia

Australia is the world leader in colored diamonds. The country is known for its yellow, pink, red, and purple diamonds. The largest diamond mine in Australia is the Argyle mine, operated by Rio Tinto. The Argyle mine was a highly productive mine, with more than 12 million carats being mined there each year. Until a couple of years ago, it was an open mine that was also being dug underground. The Argyle mine became the leading producer of natural colored diamonds including the rare and highly coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. However, mining operations ceased there in November 2020.

Canada

In the 20th century, there was almost no diamond production in Canada. It was Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blossom that put the country on the map as a diamond-producing country. Today, Canada is one of the largest diamond-producing countries in the world. Canada has 4 active diamond mines: Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake, and Victor. Ekati was the first operational diamond mine in the country. The Diavik mine is managed by Rio Tinto, the two other mines are operated by the De Beers company. The majority of the diamonds unearthed in Canada are colorless and of high quality.

Based on volume, the five countries mentioned above account for 76 percent of diamond production worldwide. In terms of value, they account for more than 65 percent of the world’s production.

 

Global purchases of imported diamonds cost a total of 74.5 billion dollars in 2020.

Overall, the value of diamonds bought by all importing countries dropped by an average of minus 38.4 percent since 2016 when diamond purchases cost 121 billion dollars. From 2019 to 2020, the total dollar amount for imported diamonds slipped by minus 32 percent.

Collectively, the top 5 buyers of imported diamonds are India, the United States, Hong Kong, Belgium, United Arab Emirates purchased almost three-quarters which are 72.6 percent of internationally sold diamonds in 2020.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries spent the most on imported diamonds in 2020 with purchases costing 47.2 billion dollars or 63.5 percent of the global total. In second place were North American importers at 17.2 percent while 15.3 percent of worldwide diamond imports were delivered to European countries.

Smaller percentages went to Africa accounting for 3.4 percent, Oceania got 0.5 percent led by Australia, and Latin America got 0.04 percent excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form of carbon, but diamond almost never converts to it.

Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are utilized in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools. They are also the reason that diamond anvil cells can subject materials to pressures found deep in the Earth. Because the arrangement of atoms in diamond is extremely rigid, few types of impurity can contaminate it two exceptions being boron and nitrogen. Small numbers of defects or impurities about one per million lattice atoms color diamond blue which reflects boron while yellow reflects nitrogen, brown signifies defects, green indicates radiation exposure. Diamond also has a very high refractive index making it very reflective and a relatively high optical dispersion which is the ability to disperse light of different colors.

Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometers in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometers. Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved various minerals and replaced them with diamonds. Much more recently tens to hundreds of million years ago, they were carried to the surface in volcanic eruptions and deposited in igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.

Synthetic diamonds can be grown from high purity carbon under high pressures and temperatures or hydrocarbon gas by chemical vapor deposition. Imitation diamonds can also be made out of materials such as cubic zirconia and silicon carbide. Natural, synthetic, and imitation diamonds are most commonly distinguished using optical techniques or thermal conductivity measurements.

 

The world diamond market is represented by diamond mining and the trade in rough diamonds. The bulk of the world diamond mining is concentrated in nine countries, with their share in the global production in physical terms as high as 99 percent. The world’s largest producers of natural diamonds are Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Botswana, altogether accounting for over 60 percent of the global diamond production.

About 96 percent of the global diamond production in value terms falls to the share of the market’s leading countries. Top positions as per the cost of produced rough diamonds belong to Russia, Botswana, and Canada with the cumulative production exceeding 60 percent of the world’s total.

Russia ranks first in the world’s diamond production. ALROSA Group accounts for 93 percent of the total diamond production in the Russian Federation in physical terms, and it is the leader in the global diamond mining industry. Major mining companies are engaged in mining in the main diamond-producing countries, the exception being Zimbabwe and the DRC, where diamond deposits are developed by small companies and prospectors.

 

By their attributes diamonds from deposits fall into two categories: gem quality and industrial-grade diamonds. The former is used in diamond jewelry production, while the latter is used for industrial purposes in the manufacture of drills, saws, and abrasive powders.

Gem quality rough diamonds are sorted by size, color, quality, and shape, and then are sold to buyers in conformity with the sales policy adopted by a rough diamond production company. Depending on the quality of the mined rough diamonds, the current state of the market, and the adopted marketing policy, companies use different approaches to diamond sales: sights, tenders, auctions, spot transactions, and long-term contracts.

The world’s largest trading centers, which concentrate the bulk of trade in natural rough diamonds, are India, Belgium, the UAE, the USA, Hong Kong, and Israel. Being sold from mines, natural rough diamonds arrive at cutting and polishing plants to become polished diamonds that will be used in jewelry making.

 

At first glance, the diamond industry seems to have a short, straightforward production chain. It all starts with mining the diamond, followed by trading raw minerals, the production of the polished diamond, and selling it as an investment diamond. In practice, however, the process is less straightforward. Certain countries have mines, while others have the funding, high-tech technologies, and expertise to process the rough diamonds. These countries become the real production centers even though there are no mines within their borders. Some countries, in turn, have both mines and the expertise to process diamonds.

Here are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of diamonds during 2020:

India with 15.9 billion dollars accounts for 21.3 percent of total imported diamonds globally, the United States with 12.5 billion dollars accounts for 16.7 percent, Hong Kong with 11.4 billion dollars accounts for 15.3 percent, Belgium with 8 billion dollars accounts for 10.7 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 6.3 billion dollars accounts for 8.5 percent China with 5.9 billion dollars account for 8 percent, Israel with 3.9 billion dollars account for 5.3 billion dollars, Botswana with 2 billion dollars accounts for 2.7 percent, Switzerland with 1.5 billion dollars accounts for 2 percent, Thailand with 1.3 billion dollars accounts for 1.7 percent, Singapore with 876.5 million accounts for 1.2 percent, the United Kingdom with 597.8 million dollars accounts for 0.8 percent, France with 485.4 million dollars accounts for 0.7 percent, Japan with 468.1 million dollars accounts for 0.6 percent while Italy with 436.5 million dollars accounts for 0.6 percent.

Among the above countries, the sole growth market for importing diamonds since 2019 was Botswana thanks to a 7.4 percent increase.

Those countries that posted declines in their imported diamonds purchases were led by: the United Kingdom down by minus 67.8 percent, France down by minus 46.1 percent, the United Arab Emirates down by minus 42 percent, and Italy down by minus 39.3 percent.

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 96.1 percent of all diamonds imported in 2020.

Global sales from diamonds exported from all countries in 2020 were worth a total of 73.9 billion. dollars

Overall, the value of diamond exports dropped by an average of minus 44.1 percent for all exporting countries since 2016 when global shipments of diamonds were valued at 132.1 billion dollars. From 2019 to 2020, the value of exported diamonds declined by over a third of minus 34.9 percent.

The 5 major exporters of diamonds which are India, Hong Kong, the United States, Belgium, and the United Arab Emirates generated over three-quarters of 68.6 percent of international diamond sales in 2020.

Among continents, Asian countries sold 40.7 billion dollars or 55.7 percent worth of exported diamonds in 2020. European exporters generated 18.8 percent trailed by North American diamond suppliers at 15.4 percent.

Smaller percentages of global diamond exports belong to Africa with 9.7 percent, Australia and New Zealand in Oceania with 0.4 percent, then Latin America with 0.04 percent excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Here are the 5 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of diamonds during 2020:

India with 15.2 billion dollars which accounts for 20.6 percent of total diamonds exports, Hong Kong with 10.5 billion dollars accounts for 14.2 percent, the United States with 10.4 billion dollars accounts for 14.1 percent, Belgium with 8.2 billion dollars accounts for 11.1 percent and The United Arab Emirates with 6.4 billion dollars accounts for 8.6 percent. Other top exporters of the commodity include Israel, Botswana, Russia,
South Africa, Switzerland, China, Thailand, Canada, Singapore, and United Kingdom.

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 94.9 percent of global diamonds exported in 2020.

All the above countries posted declines in their sales of exported diamonds led by: the United Kingdom down by minus 60.6 percent, Israel down by minus 52.1 percent, Canada down by minus 45.4 percent, the United Arab Emirates down by minus 45 percent, and Switzerland down by minus 42.3 percent.

 

The 5 fastest-growing diamond exporters from 2019 to 2020 are Albania up by 3,580 percent, Bahrain up by 2,901 percent, Czech Republic up by 576.4 percent, Laos up by minus 545.6 percent, and Norway up by 357.1 percent.

 

 

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Conclusion

Russia is the world's largest producer and exporter of rough diamonds. Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia are the largest diamond-producing countries in the southern hemisphere. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the third-largest diamond producer in the world.

 

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