Israel’s net polished diamond exports fell 20% in October

Israel’s net polished diamond exports declined by 20 percent in October 2005, totaling $384.3 million, as compared to $480.4 million during the same month in 2004. For the year, (January – October) net polished diamond exports rose 4.2%, according to statistics published by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor’s Diamond Controller, Shmuel Mordechai. Net polished diamond exports reached $5.6 billion during this period, compared to $5.4 billion for the same period in 2004.

Rough diamond exports from Israel during October fell by 23.9 percent to $169.1 million, as compared to $222.1 million in October 2004. From January to October, rough diamond exports rose 22.2 percent to reach $3 billion, compared to $2.5 billion in the same period last year.

During October net rough diamond imports decreased by 35.5 percent to $304.8 million, as compared to $472.6 million for the same month of 2004. Net imports of rough diamonds increased by 2.2% for the first 10 months of 2005 reached $4.5 billion, as compared with $4.4 billion in the same period in 2004.

In October, Israel’s net imports of polished diamonds fell 18.4% to $263.8 million, compared to $323.2 million in October 2004. Imports of polished diamonds increased 8.6% for the first ten months of 2005, reaching $3 billion, as compared to $2.8 billion from January to October last year.

Israel diamond controller Shmuel Mordechai said that much of the decline in exports was due to the fact that the Jewish High Holy Days and Sukkot fell during this month, during which the bourse was closed. He stressed that despite the declines this month, overall figures for the first ten months of the year were encouraging and pointed to stability in most major markets.

For the first ten months of the year, polished exports to the U.S. declined by 3 percent, but rose by 95 percent to Switzerland, 20 percent to Hong Kong and 1 percent to Belgium. The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds in October were the United States with 62 percent, Switzerland 10 percent, Belgium 6 percent, Hong Kong 10 percent and England 4 percent.