July 10, 2003
Israel's Polished Diamond Exports Rose 6.3% in June
According to statistics published by Israel's Ministry of Industry & Trade, net exports of polished diamonds from Israel increased 6.3% in June to reach $323.4 million, compared to $304.1 million in June 2002. Israel's net polished exports for the first half of 2003 reached $2.6 billion, the same level reported for the first six months of 2002.
Since the beginning of the year, polished exports rose to Switzerland (28%), Belgium (20%), and the U.S. (4%). Exports to Hong Kong and Japan declined in this period by 6% and 27%. Exports to the U.S. stood at 69% of the total, while exports to Hong Kong were 10% and to Belgium 8%.
Israel's imports of polished diamonds rose 26% in June to $263.3 million, compared to $209 million during the same period last year. Polished imports jumped 50.2% from January to June 2003 to reach $1.5 billion, compared to $1.0 billion during the first half of 2002.
Rough imports declined during June by 13.2% to $365.1 million, compared to $420.5 million in June 2002. For the first six months of the year rough imports dropped 12.5%, to reach $1.75 billion.
Sources in Israel's diamond industry said it's likely exports to the Far East would return to previous levels, as these markets rebound in the aftermath of the SARS virus. Udi Sheintal, Israel's Diamond Controller, said he is hopeful the renewed upward trend in diamond exports seen this month will continue to the end of the year.