Wednesday, May 15, 2024
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Israel’s Diamond Shipments Continue Downward Trend

Israel’s diamond trade slowed in May as the country felt the pinch from the global market downturn, the government reported this week.

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Shipments fell by all key measures except polished exports, which rose because of the JCK Las Vegas show, according to data the Ministry of Economy and Industry released on Monday.

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Rough imports slumped 59% year on year to $76.7 million for the month, while rough exports slid 83% to $23.2 million. Polished imports dropped 28% to $257.7 million.

Polished exports more than quadrupled to $729.8 million from $161.3 million a year earlier, but most of these goods will likely return to Israel in June after the fair, the government explained. By volume, polished exports rose 14% to 156,661 carats, while the average price almost quadrupled to $4,658 per carat from $1,176 a year before. Israel reports its data on a net basis, meaning the figures exclude goods that come back to the country.

In 2022, the JCK show took place around a week later, likely resulting in a greater proportion of exports occurring in June rather than May.

“The continuation of the global downward trend in diamond trading can be seen in May’s data,” said Ophir Gore, Israel’s diamond controller, who regulates the sector. “At the same time, we [expect this to shift] in a positive direction in the next two months amid an improvement in sales in the Chinese market.”

Polished exports fell 11% year on year to $1.71 billion in the first five months of 2023, the data showed.

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