Diamond exports shrink 58% - Israel Business, Ynetnews

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Polished diamond (illustration) Photo: AP
Polished diamond (illustration) Photo: AP

Diamond exports shrink 58%

Data presented by diamond controller reveal exports totaled $1.59 billion in 2009's first half. Slight recovery indicated at end of year's Q2

Naama Sikuler, Calcalist
Published: 07.10.09, 08:49 / Israel Business

The declining trade in Israeli diamond exports, which began immediately after the financial crisis broke out in September 2008, continued to distress the Israeli industry's exports throughout the first quarter of 2009, excluding a slight recovery recorded in the past few weeks.


According to data released last week by Shmuel Mordechai, who serves as Israel's Diamond Controller and Manager of the Diamonds, Precious Stones and Jewelry Administration in the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, 2009's first six months saw a 58.3% drop in the exports of net polished diamonds compared to the same period last year, totaling $1.58 billion.


The import of new rough diamonds totaled $797 million in the first half of the year – a 63.4% drop. The import of rough diamonds totaled $853 million – a 69.2% drop.


"The drop in diamonds' imports and exports stems from the financial crisis. Nonetheless, we saw a slight rise in the last quarter of 2009 compared to the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 in all types of diamonds," said Mordechai.


The recovery noted over the past few weeks is also supported by indications of the drop in diamond prices coming to a halt. According to market assessments the price rates reflect a recovery before the export figures are released, and therefore indications on the industry's recovery will only be seen in the export data of the third quarter.


The United States remains the main market for exporting polished diamonds, with 51% of all Israeli exports. Hong Kong follows with 23%, Switzerland is third with 9%, Belgium with 7%, the UK with 2% and other countries with 8%.


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