Israel’s polished diamond exports rose 10% in July; 21% so far for the year

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.