Ramat Gan, Israel, December 4, 2002: Israel’s net polished diamond exports in November stood at $452.1 million, similar to the sum recorded for the same month last year, according to statistics published by the Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Diamond Controller.
Net polished exports for the first 11 months of 2002 increased 15.7% to reach $4.947 billion, up from $4.277 billion for the same period in 2001.
Rough imports in November 2002 rose 38.9% to $ 379 million, and from January to November 2002 by 19.6% to $3.661 billion. Rough exports increased by 57% in November, totaling $110.7 million, with these exports seeing a 54.2% jump from the beginning of the year, reaching $1.459 billion. Polished imports also grew, rising 32% in November, to reach $212.6 million, and 33.4% to reach $2.085 billion since January.
Sources in Ramat Gan emphasized that the continued growth in polished exports from Israel reflects efforts on the part of the industry to adjust to a new reality in which fewer buyers are visiting diamond centers worldwide. In order to “bring the goods to the buyer” more and more Israeli diamantaires are exhibiting in the major trade shows and are making a greater number of trips to diamond markets abroad. The Israel Diamond Institute has promoted this approach by establishing Israeli national pavilions at leading trade fairs, and by launching an advertising campaign to support these efforts.
Udi Sheintal, Israel’s Diamond Controller, noted that the figures point to a successful holiday season especially in Israel’s traditional markets – the United States, Hong Kong, Belgium, and Switzerland. Since the beginning of the year sales to Belgium rose 19%, to the U.S. 16%, and to Hong Kong 7%.
The United States remained the largest market for Israel’s polished exports, continuing to account for 68% during this period. Gross sales to this market rose to $5.299 billion from January to November, compared to $4.578 billion in the same period of 2001. Hong Kong imported $901.8 million in polished diamonds or 12%; Belgium $503.4 million or 6% and Japan $228.2 million or 3%.