Net exports of polished diamonds from Israel increased 11.7 percent in January to reach $590.9 million, compared to $529.1 million in January 2003, according to the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade’s Diamond Controller.
Imports of rough diamonds increased dramatically in January, meanwhile, rising 54.3 percent to $398.0 million. Rough diamond exports also soared 76.1 percent to reach $268.2 million.
Imports of polished stones, however, remained stable, at $207.3 million—the same figure reported in January, 2003.
The major imports for Istrael’s polished diamonds remained the United States, registering 68 percent of the polished imports.
Simcha Lustig, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, said figures represent both economic recovery around the world and the fruit of the industry’s marketing labors.
The significant rise in rough imports, meanwhile, is an encouraging sign that a sufficient rough supply is beginning to flow in the industry.