Israel's Polished Diamond Exports Down 6.5% in January


February 2, 2006

Israel's Polished Diamond Exports Down 6.5% in January

Net polished diamond exports from Israel declined 6.5% in January 2006 to reach $614.3 million, compared to $657.1 million in January 2005, according to Shmuel Mordechai, diamond controller of the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor.

Net imports of rough diamonds totalled $349.6 million in January 2006, as compared to $432.8 million in January 2005, a decrease of 19.2%. Rough diamond exports fell 18.47% in January to reach $273.8 million, compared to $335.5 million in the same month last year. Israel's imports of polished diamonds increased 10.1% in January 2006 to reach $256.2 million, as compared to $232.8 million in the same period in 2005.

Mordechai said it's still too early in the year to know how the industry will perform during 2006. He also said important markets for Israel's diamonds saw an increase in sales. Net polished exports to the U.S. were up by 3%, to Belgium by 11%, to Switzerland by 3%, and to England by 17%.

The major export markets for Israel's polished diamonds in January were the U.S. with 65%, Belgium 9%, Hong Kong 7%, Switzerland 4% and England 3%.



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