RAPAPORT... U.S. polished diamond imports for May 2012, which included JCK Vegas show preparation, rose 3.4 percent year on year to $2.607 billion, while polished exports fell 3.3 percent to $1.311 billion. In terms of volume, polished carat imports rose 2.4 percent to 1.513 million. Net polished diamond imports rose 11 percent year on year in May to $1.296 billion.
Rough diamond imports in May fell 21.4 percent to $55 million and rough exports dropped 32.5 percent to $27 million, leaving net rough imports of $28 million compared with $31 million one year ago. For the month of May, the U.S. recorded a net diamond account of $1.324 billion, up from $1.199 billion in 2011.
During the first five months of 2012, the U.S. has imported $8.852 billion worth of polished diamonds, reflecting a 5.8 percent year-on-year decline. Polished diamond exports have dropped 3.5 percent year on year to $6.754 billion, leaving net imports of $2.099 billion, down from $2.396 billion one year earlier. Rough diamond imports have plunged 27.9 percent o $202 million, while rough exports have fallen 16.9 percent to $183 million, resulting in net rough imports of $50 million or about half the value from one year ago.
The net diamond account for the January through May period has slipped 13.8 percent year on year to $2.149 billion.