For the third consecutive year, Tahiti's pearl exports reached a record high in value and total amount of loose pearls exported. In 2000, exports of Tahiti's pearl products reached $165.7 million, a 13% increase over 1999's record year.
Loose cultured pearls represented 94% of all Tahiti's pearl exports in 2000 and reached a volume of 11.36 tons, a 39% increase from 1999. The value of loose pearl exports increased as well to $155 million, a 17% increase in value from 1999. The two largest export markets for loose Tahitian pearls were Japan, which imported 6.9 tons, and Hong Kong, which imported 2.6 tons.
- by Julia M. Duncan