Israel’s diamond industry continued its trend toward significant growth in November and in the first eleven months of 2004, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor’s Diamond Controller, Shmuel Mordechai.
Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel rose 27.2% to reach $661.8 million, compared to $520.4 million in November 2003. During the first eleven months of the year net polished exports grew 16.0%, reaching $6.016 billion, compared to $5.184 billion in the same period in 2003.
Imports of rough diamonds also continued to grow, rising 26.5% in November to $368.0 million, compared to $290.8 million in November 2003. Since the beginning of the year rough diamond imports rose 35.7% to reach $4.741 billion, compared to $3.494 billion for the same period in 2003. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 8.8% in November to reach $235.8 million, up from $216.7 million in November 2003. For the first eleven months rough diamond exports increased 32.9% to $2.715 billion, up from $ 2.042 billion for the same period in 2003.
Israel’s imports of polished diamonds decreased 3.8% in November, reaching $ 330.7 million, compared to $343.8 million for the month last year. Since the beginning of the year they rose 5.8% to reach $3.140 billion, up from $2.967 billion for the same period in 2003.
The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds in November were the United States with 67%, Hong Kong 13%, Belgium 7%, Switzerland 3% and England 2%. Since the beginning of the year exports to the U.S. rose 17%, to Hong Kong 35%, Belgium 22%, Switzerland 12% and England 30%.
“We have seen impressive growth in all areas of activity throughout the year, and look forward to continuing this trend till the end of the year,” said Simcha Lustig, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI). “Demand for Israeli diamonds remains high in the United States, as well as in the Far East. The European market has shown an encouraging rise as well.”