Israel’s diamond industry reported substantial growth in June and in the first half of 2004, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade’s Diamond Controller. Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel rose 47.3% to reach $481.4 million, compared to $326.9 million in June 2003. During the first half of the year net polished exports grew 23.9%, reaching $3.290 billion, compared to $2.656 billion in the same period in 2003.
Imports of rough diamonds also continued to climb, rising 14.8% in June to $418.4 million, compared to $364.6 million in June 2003. Since the beginning of the year rough diamond imports rose 40.3% to reach $2.446 billion, compared to $1.743 billion for the same period in 2003. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 35.8% in June to reach $286.8 million, up from $211.1 million in June 2003. For the first six months rough diamond exports increased 45.6% to $1.534 billion, up from $1.053 million for the same period in 2003.
Israel’s imports of polished diamonds rose 11.7% in June 2004 to reach $294.0 million, compared to $263.3 million for the month last year. Since the beginning of the year they rose 6.0% to reach $1.590 billion, up from $1.499 billion for the same period in 2003.
The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds were the United States with 66%, Hong Kong 13%, Belgium 7% and Japan 2%. Since the beginning of the year exports to the U.S. rose 17%, to Hong Kong 52%, Belgium 19%, England 52%, and Japan 5%.