Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel increased 9.2% in August to reach $330.1 million, compared to $302.2 million in August 2002, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade’s Diamond Controller. Israel’s net polished exports for the first eight months of 2003 reached $ 3.56 billion, a rise of 1.9% over the same period in 2002, when they totaled $3.49 billion.
Israel’s imports of polished diamonds rose 35.9% in August to $239 million, compared to $176 million during the same period last year. Polished imports rose 44.6% from January to August 2003 to reach $2 billion, compared to $138 billion during the first eight months of 2002.
Rough imports increased during August by 23.5% to $357 million, compared to $288.6 million in August 2002. For the first eight months of the year rough imports dropped 4.8%, to reach $ 2.51 billion. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 62% in August to reach $176.6 million, rising from the beginning of the year by 36.2% to $1.43 billion.
Exports to the United States stood at 69% of the total, while exports to Hong Kong were 10%, to Belgium 7% and to Switzerland 3%.
Simcha Lustig, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, says the figures represent increased demand for diamonds from Israel in all major markets.
“Consumers worldwide are continuing to express their loyalty to diamonds as a symbol of love, as well as an exciting fashion trend. The Israeli industry has the advantage of being able to supply a broad variety of diamonds to fill almost every need. We are optimistic that 2003 will continue to be a good year for the Israel diamond industry,” Lustig said.