RAPAPORT... The U.S. imported $1.621 billion worth of polished diamonds during the month of June, reflecting a 15 percent year-on-year decline. Polished exports fell 6 percent to $2.233 billion, leaving net imports in a deficit of $612 million compared with a deficit of $482 million in June 2011. The U.S. has recorded a polished diamond import deficit following the JCK Vegas show only twice before, in 2008 and 2011. Polished imports in June averaged $1,757 per carat, up 2 percent year-on-year, however, the polished export average surged 15 percent to $1,247 per carat.
Rough diamond imports jumped 10 percent year on year to $53 million, while rough exports fell 30 percent to $28 million, leaving net imports of $25 million compared with only $8 million one year earlier. The net diamond account for June, reflecting the balance of diamond imports, recorded a deficit of $587 million, which was up from a deficit of $474 million one year ago.
During the first half of 2012, polished diamond imports fell 7 percent year on year to $10.473 billion, while polished exports rose 4 percent to $8.987 billion, leaving net imports of $1.487 billion or a drop of 22 percent. Rough imports plunged 22 percent to $255 million and exports were down by 19 percent to $180 million, leaving net imports of $75 million compared with $105 million one year ago. The U.S. net diamond account for the first six months has decreased 23 percent year on year to $1.562 billion.