2004 Stats: India's Total Exports Grow 38%; Israel's Diamond Exports Up 14.4%

January 18, 2005

2004 Stats: India's Total Exports Grow 38%; Israel's Diamond Exports Up 14.4%

In 2004, the Indian gem and jewelry sector's exports grew to $14.3 billion from $10.3 billion in 2003, reports The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India. The figures represent growth of 37.9% compared to 2003. Israel's Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor reported that its exports of polished diamonds rose to $6.3 billion, compared to $5.5 billion in 2003, an increase of 14.4%.

India's export of cut & polished diamonds alone in 2004 was $10.3 billion, indicating a growth of 28.4% compared to $8.5 billion in 2003. There was significant growth in the jewelry sector with exports showing a whopping 78% growth, a clear indication of the rising share of the jewelry sector in the countryıs overall gem and jewelry exports.

India's export of colored gemstones during 2004 showed a growth of more than 3% when compared to 2003. The year 2004 showed rough diamonds imports of $7.3 billion, indicating a growth of 10.9% compared to $ 6.6 billion in 2003.

"The industry has shown a very impressive growth and is moving in the right direction. We are confident that we would surpass the set target of $16 billion by 2007 and are hopeful that this growth rate shall continue," says Bakul Mehta, chairman, GJEPC.

Israel Reports Rough Import/Export Growth Too
Net imports of rough diamonds to Israel totalled $5.1 billion in 2004 compared to $3.9 billion in 2003, an increase of 32.4%. Rough diamond exports from Israel rose 31% in 2004 to reach $2.9 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2003. Israel's imports of polished diamonds increased 4.6% in 2004 to reach $3.6 billion, compared to $3.4 billion in 2003.

The major export markets for Israel's polished diamonds in 2004 remained the United States with 67%, Hong Kong 13%, Belgium 9%, Switzerland 3% and Japan 2%. Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai reported that rough diamond imports from the Diamond Trading Co. were $932 million during the year, representing 18% of total rough imports compared to 22% in 2003.

Israel diamond industry leaders were gratified by the impressive results in 2004. "We have worked very hard to reach this achievement, an all time high in polished exports of $6.3 billion. But that's not all. 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," says Simcha Lustig, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute.

Lustig also noted 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. This year promises to be a very exciting year for the Israel diamond industry," says Lustig.

by Peggy Jo Donahue

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