August 6, 2004
Israel's Polished Diamond Exports Rise 10% in July
Israel's diamond industry continues to show steady growth, according to statistics reported by Shmuel Mordechai, the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade's new diamond controller. Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel rose 9.7% to reach $636.9 million, compared to $580.9 million in July 2003. During the first seven months of the year net polished exports grew 21.3%, reaching $3.926 billion, compared to $3.238 billion in the same period in 2003.
Imports of rough diamonds also continued to climb, rising 31.9% in July to $531.9 million, compared to $403.2 million in July 2003. Since the beginning of the year rough diamond imports rose 38.7% to reach $2.979 billion, compared to $2.146 billion for the same period in 2003. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 38.0% in July to reach $266.3 million, up from $193.0 million in July 2003. For the first seven months rough diamond exports increased 44.2% to $1.799 billion, up from $1.247 million for the same period in 2003.
Israel's imports of polished diamonds rose 16% in July 2004 to reach $295.3 million, compared to $254.5 million for the month last year. Since the beginning of the year they rose 7.5% to reach $1.886 billion, up from $1.754 billion for the same period in 2003.
The major export markets for Israel's polished diamonds in July were the U.S. with 72%, Hong Kong 11%, Belgium 5%, England 2% and Switzerland 2%. Since the beginning of the year exports to the U.S. rose 17%, to Hong Kong 45%, Belgium 18%, England 49% and Switzerland 8%.
Although Israel's diamond industry is currently on summer vacation, with the bourse officially closed until Aug. 16, preparations are underway for a busy fall. Beginning in September, the Israel Diamond Institute will lead industry participation in two trade shows: Diamonds by JCK, Sep. 12-13 in New York City, a first-time diamond-only exhibition; and the Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair, Sept.19-24, which will feature 41 Israeli exhibitors, many of whom are located within IDI's Israel Diamond Pavilion.
Simcha Lustig, chairman of IDI, says he is looking forward to an active season continuing through the holiday season in December. "Israeli diamonds are in great demand in both traditional and developing markets," says Lustig. "The United States and the Far East are showing very significant growth, and we are especially pleased to see the considerable rise in demand in Europe. We are hoping to maintain the same high rate of growth for the entire year."