October 7, 2005
Israel's September Diamond Figures Up Sharply
In the first nine months of 2005, net exports of polished diamonds from Israel increased 6.6% to $5.2 billion compared to 2004. September's figures are up dramatically. Net exports of polished goods in September rose 24.1% over September 2004's figures, to $704 million from $567 million last year.
Other exports (and imports) for Israel's diamond industry were also up over the totals for the same period last year as a result:
Net rough diamond exports up 26.9% over first nine months to $2.86 billion.
Net Rough diamond imports up 6.8% over first nine months to $4.16 billion.
Net Polished diamond imports up 12.1% over first nine months to $2.79 billion.
Net polished exports to the U.S. decreased by a percentage point for the first nine months. Israel's push to expand new markets is helping it, and Switzerland, Hong Kong and China took up some of the slack. However, Israel's net polished exports to the U.S. were particularly robust in August, accounting for more than half of Israel's diamond exports for the month.
"These figures are in line with our expectations," said Simcha Lustig, Israel Diamond Institute chairman. "We are optimistic that this trend can be maintained throughout the year."
In related news, Lustig said IDI is upgrading its marketing efforts in the U.S., officially opening its representative office in New York City next week. The office will provide assistance to Israeli diamantaires in U.S. markets, especially those who do not have their own presences there. In addition, the New York City office will seek to develop new markets for Israeli goods outside the major cities.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.