India's Diamond & Gem Exports Grow 38%
Israel's diamond exports rise 14.4%
by Peggy Jo Donahue
The Indian gem and jewelry sectors exports grew 37.9% last year, from $10.3 billion in 2003 to $14.3 billion in 2004, reports the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India.
Meanwhile, Israels Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor reports the countrys exports of polished diamonds increased 14.4% during the same period, from $5.5 billion to $6.3 billion.
Indias exports of cut and polished diamonds alone totaled $10.3 billion in 2004, up 28.4% from $8.5 billion in 2003. Finished jewelry exports rose 78%, a clear indication of this sectors rising share of the countrys overall gem and jewelry exports. Exports of colored gemstones rose 3%.
Rough diamond imports grew 10.9%, from $6.6 billion in 2003 to $7.3 billion in 2004.
The industry has shown a very impressive growth and is moving in the right direction, says GJEPC Chairman Bakul Mehta. We are confident we will surpass the target of $16 billion by 2007 and are hopeful this growth rate shall continue.
Net imports of rough diamonds to Israel totaled $5.1 billion in 2004, up 32.4% from $3.9 billion in 2003. Imports of polished diamonds rose 4.6%, from $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion.
Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 31%, from $2.2 billion to $2.9 billion in the same period. The major export markets remained the United States with 67%, Hong Kong with 13%, Belgium with 9%, Switzerland with 3% and Japan with 2%.
Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai said Israels rough diamond imports from De Beers Diamond Trading Co. totaled $932 million, representing 18% of total rough imports compared twith 22% in 2003.
Leaders of Israels diamond industry say they are gratified by the results in 2004. We have worked very hard to reach this achievement, an all-time high in polished exports of $6.3 billion, says Simcha Lustig, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute.
But that isnt all, he says. Through concerted efforts by the heads of the industry, we have been able to diversify our sources of rough diamonds, which enabled us to increase rough imports by over 32%. Demand for Israeli diamonds remains high, and we have seen a significant rise in the number of buyers visiting the Diamond Center in Ramat Gan.
Lustig also notes the Israeli industry is engaged in intensive efforts in two important areas: technology and gemology, with results expected in the coming year. The international diamond industry is changing at a rapid pace, and Israel remains at the forefront of these changes, he says. This year promises to be a very exciting year for the Israel diamond industry.