Israel’s diamond industry again saw an increase in polished diamond exports in January, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor’s Diamond Controller, Shmuel Mordechai. Net polished diamond exports rose 9.1% in January 2005 to reach $637.1 million, compared to $583.9 million in January 2004.
Net imports of rough diamonds totaled $427.9 in January 2005, as compared to $397.4 million in January 2004, an increase of 7.7%. Rough diamond exports from Israel increased 25.7% in January to reach $336.2 million, compared to $267.5 million in the same month last year. Israel’s imports of polished diamonds increased 12.3% in January 2005 to reach $231.3 million, as compared to $205.9 million in the same period in 2004.
The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds in January were the United States with 64%, Hong Kong 14%, Belgium 8%, Switzerland 3%, and Japan 3%. Compared to January 2004, polished exports to the U.S. rose by 17%, to Hong Kong by 71%, to Belgium by 17%, to Switzerland by 9%, and to Japan by 11%.
The January figures reinforce the trends exhibited in 2004, when the Israeli diamond industry saw major growth in all areas of activity. Net polished diamond exports in 2004 rose 14.4% to a reach record $6.33 billion. Imports of rough diamonds in 2004 rose 32.4%, while rough exports rose 31%.