Israel diamond exports are up for June

Israeli diamond exports rose sharply for the month of June, according to figures supplied by the Waldman Diamond Company (WDC) Group.

Polished exports totaled more than $304 million, a 7.2% increase over the same period last year. Total polished carats exported from Israel totaled nearly 300 million for June, a 14.5% increase. Meanwhile, exports of rough diamonds more than doubled in June totaling nearly $146 million on 1.1 million carats.

But instead of jumping for joy, Aharon Tamir, the senior sales director at the WDC Group in Ramat Gan, is cautiously optimistic, saying the markets are still fragile.

“While at the recent JCK Show in Las Vegas, a decent amount of business was done, the U.S. market is still waiting for a true upsurge in sales,” he said. “We, though, were satisfied. For us, trade shows like Las Vegas are an excellent opportunity to liaise with our clientele. As we run joint marketing programs with jewelry retailers, our appointment book was filled from early morning until closing time.”

But, cautions Tamir, one good trade show does not necessarily make for a complete industry recovery. Tamir says observers of the U.S. jewelry industry have suggested that the jewelry market will grow between 4% and 6% in the second half of 2002. “Hopefully, that will mean we’ll be real busy in the coming months,” he said.

Tamir is very pleased with the number of exported diamonds going to China. In the first six months of the year, Israel exported $34 million of polished goods to China, compared to only $5 million in the same period of 2001. “That is a great sign of China opening up to doing more business with Ramat Gan,” he said. “The market potential there is simply huge.”