Israel’s polished diamond exports up 20% in May

Israel’s diamond industry continued to show healthy growth in May, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade’s Diamond Controller. Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel rose 19.6% to reach $662.6 million, compared to $554.1 million in May 2003. During the first five months of the year net polished exports grew 20.6%, reaching $2.810 billion, compared to $2.329 billion in the same period in 2003.

Imports of rough diamonds also continued to show impressive growth, rising 38.9% in May to $409.9 million, compared to $295.0 million in May 2003. Since the beginning of the year rough diamond imports rose 47.1% to reach $2.028 billion, compared to $1.379 billion for the same period in 2003. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 28.6% in May to reach $283.0 million, up from $220.1 million in May 2003. For the first five months rough diamond exports increased 48.1% to $1.248 billion, up from $842.7 million for the same period in 2003.

Israel’s imports of polished diamonds rose 2.5% in May 2004 to reach $280.6 million, compared to $273.8 million for the month last year. Since the beginning of the year they rose 4.8% to reach $1.296 billion, up from $1.236 billion for the same period in 2003.

The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds were the United States with 70%, Hong Kong 12%, Belgium 7% and Switzerland 2%. Since the beginning of the year exports to the U.S. rose 15%, to Hong Kong 49%, Switzerland 12%, Belgium 15%, and England 46%.