Israel’s polished diamond exports take a 22.5 percent tumble in April

Net polished diamond exports from Israel in April decreased by 22.5 percent to $258.4 million, compared to $333.6 million during April 2005, according to the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor’s diamond controller, Shmuel Mordechai. Since the beginning of 2006, net polished diamond exports declined 5.5 percent, reaching roughly $2.1 billion, compared to $2.3 billion in the same period of 2005.

Net imports of rough diamonds increased 14 percent to $334 million in April 2006, as compared to $292.7 million in the same month of 2005. From the beginning of the year net rough imports declined by 9.8 percent, totaling $1.4 billion compared to $1.6 billion in the same period of 2005.

Net rough diamond exports from Israel stood at $196.3 million in April 2006, a decline of 13.2 percent over April 2005, when they totaled $226.2 billion. For January – April, rough exports were $966.4 million, a decline of 14.7 percent over the same period last year, when they were $1.132 billion.

Israel’s net imports of polished diamonds in April increased by 5.3 percent, totaling $299.1 million, as compared to $284 million in the same month of 2005. Since the beginning of 2006 they increased by 3.5 percent to total $1.221 billion, compared to $1.2 billion in the same period of 2005.

Mordechai said that the decline in exports this month was due to a return of all goods sent to the Basel trade show, since Israeli exhibitors prefer to send goods directly from Israel. Industry sources said that this effect is likely to be corrected next month. The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds in April were the United States with 60 percent, Hong Kong 15 percent, Belgium 8 percent, England 3 percent and Japan 1 percent.