Israel's 1st Quarter Diamond Exports Up

April 13, 2004

Israel's 1st Quarter Diamond Exports Up

Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade Controller reports sustained growth in all aspects of the Israeli diamond industry. Net exports for the first quarter have risen 12.8% ($538.3 million) over last year. Net polished diamond exports have grown by 14% ($1.721 billion) over last year.

"The figures for the first three months of 2004 show that the Israeli industry is adapting well to changing conditions in the world diamond sector," says Simcha Lustig, president of the Israeli Diamond Institute. "It is energetically seeking new sources of rough while pursuing increased efficiencies in diamond manufacturing. This trend, combined with renewed vigor of the economies of our export markets will lead to [sustained] positive growth for the year 2004."

The exports coincided with a dramatic increase in rough imports during March, which has risen by 51.2% (to $1.303 billion) since the beginning of the year. March was by far the biggest month for imports, recording 41% ($415 million) of the total in a single month.

IDI plans a traditional press breakfast at BaselWorld 2004 on April 16. Israel's diamond sector has dozens of diamantaires exhibiting throughout the show.

Robert Weldon, G.G.

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