Israel’s polished diamonds exports fell 17% in June, rose 6% for the first-half of 2005

Israel’s net polished diamond exports fell 17% in June 2005, reaching $400 million, as compared to $482 million in June 2004, according to statistics reported by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor’s Diamond Controller, Shmuel Mordechai.

Mordechai said that the decline in June’s polished exports could be attributed to returns of inventory from two international trade shows in Hong Kong and the United States. He added that the 6% rise in polished exports since the beginning of the year points to a continuation of the positive growth trend in the Israel industry, which is expected to continue until the end of 2005.

Polished diamond exports rose 6% from January to June 2005, reaching $3.479 billion in for the period compared to $3.287 billion for the same period in 2004.

Net imports of rough diamonds increased by 28% in June 2005 to reach $534 million, as compared to $417 million for the same period in 2004. From January to June 2005 rough diamond imports increased by 9%, reaching $2.663 billion, as compared to $2.443 billion in 2004.

Rough diamond exports from Israel continued to rise, increasing 29% in June 2005 to reach $ 368 million, compared to $285 million in the same period last year. In the first half of the year they rose 24% to total $1.900 billion, as compared to $1.531 billion for the same period in 2004. Israel’s imports of polished diamonds increased 16% in June to $341 million, as compared to $294 million in the same month last year. From January to June net imports of polished diamonds rose 17% to $1.861 billion, up from $1.588 billion in the same period in 2004.

Polished exports to the U.S. rose 13%, to Hong Kong 31%, to Belgium 28%, to Switzerland 61% and to Japan 4%. The major export markets for Israel’s polished diamonds in March were the United States with 60%, Hong Kong 20%, Belgium 8%, Switzerland 4% and Japan 3%.