Israel Diamond Trade Enjoys Rare Growth

Ramat Gan: Israel’s polished diamond exports bounced back in the first quarter as orders from Switzerland and the US grew during the period.

Outbound shipments of polished jumped 16% to $1.7 billion in the January-to-March period, according to the nation’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. The increase was only the third positive quarter for polished exports out of the past two and a half years, according to Rapaport calculations.

Switzerland was the largest export market for the Israeli trade, with shipments rising significantly to $535.1 million during the quarter that included the annual Baselworld show. Exports to the US increased 3.5% to $513.9 million.

Israel’s polished imports fell 13% to $699.3 million during the period, leaving net polished exports 51% higher at $997.1 million.

Rough imports increased 4% to $785.2 million, while rough exports advanced 12% to $768.2 million. Net rough imports slid 76% to $17 million.

Israel’s net diamond account for the quarter – calculated as total polished and rough exports minus total imports – grew 65% to $980 million.