Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel increased 12.1% in October to reach $585.4 million, compared to $522.3 million in October 2002, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade’s Diamond Controller, Ramat Gan, Israel. The country’s net polished exports for the first ten months of 2003 rose 3.2%, to reach $4.65 billion, compared to $4.51 billion in the same period in 2002.
Israel’s imports of polished diamonds rose 14.3% in October to $287.6 million, compared to $251.7 million during the same period in 2002. Polished imports rose 40.4% from January to October 2003 to reach $2.63 billion, compared to $1.87 billion during the first ten months of 2002.
Rough imports increased during October by 11.4% to $388.4 million, compared to $348.7 million in October 2002. For the first ten months of the year rough imports dropped 0.6%, to reach $3.26 billion. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 46.7% in October to reach $202.5 million, rising from the beginning of the year by 36.8% to $1.82 billion.
The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds remained the United States with 68%, Hong Kong 11.6%, Belgium 7%, and Switzerland 3%.
“These figures prove that what we anticipated—an increase in demand for Israeli polished diamonds leading up to the Christmas season—has materialized,” said Simcha Lustig, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute. “It’s clear now that we will have a very good holiday season, and that we can expect to complete the year with net growth of 3 – 4% in polished exports.”