Israel’s diamond industry continued to show steady growth in July and in the first seven months of 2004, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade’s new Diamond Controller, Shmuel Mordechai. Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel rose 9.7% to reach $636.9 million, compared to $580.9 million in July 2003. During the first seven months of the year net polished exports grew 21.3%, reaching $3.926 billion, compared to $3.238 billion in the same period in 2003.
Imports of rough diamonds also continued to climb, rising 31.9% in July to $531.9 million, compared to $403.2 million in July 2003. Since the beginning of the year rough diamond imports rose 38.7% to reach $2.979 billion, compared to $2.146 billion for the same period in 2003. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 38.0% in July to reach $266.3 million, up from $193.0 million in July 2003. For the first seven months rough diamond exports increased 44.2% to $1.799 billion, up from $1.247 million for the same period in 2003.
Israel’s imports of polished diamonds rose 16.0% in July 2004 to reach $295.3 million, compared to $254.5 million for the month last year. Since the beginning of the year they rose 7.5% to reach $1.886 billion, up from $1.754 billion for the same period in 2003.
The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds in July were the United States with 72%, Hong Kong 11%, Belgium 5%, England 2% and Switzerland 2%. Since the beginning of the year exports to the U.S. rose 17%, to Hong Kong 45%, Belgium 18%, England 49% and Switzerland 8%.
Although Israel’s diamond industry is currently on summer vacation, with the bourse officially closed until August 16, preparations are underway for a very busy fall season. Beginning in September, the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) will be leading industry participation in two important trade shows: Diamonds by JCK, Sept. 12 – 13 in New York, a first-time diamond-only exhibition, and the Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair, September 19 – 24, which will feature 41 Israeli exhibitors, many of whom are located within IDI’s Israel Diamond Pavilion.