RAPAPORT... U.S. polished diamond imports in June fell 3.6 percent year on year to $1.562 billion, while the average price dropped 4.4 percent to $1,661 per carat. The month of June historically records returns from the JCK Vegas show to major trading centers and this year, polished exports surged 12.6 percent to $2.555 billion, which was a record high.
Of the largest trading centers, Israel recorded the highest amount of returns. U.S. polished diamond imports from Israel totaled $563.5 million in June, but polished exports amounted to $741.2 million. Polished imports from India stood at $510.3 million; however, polished exports totaled $527.7 million. Polished imports from Belgium came to $276.5 million and exports were $378.5 million. Additionally, $562.8 million worth of polished diamonds were exported to Hong Kong.
For the month of June, the U.S. recorded a polished import deficit of $993 million compared with a deficit of $612 million one year ago.
Rough diamond imports plunged 62.3 percent year on year to $20 million, while rough exports fell 3.6 percent to $27 million, leaving an import deficit of $7 million compared with a surplus of $26 million one year ago. The net diamond account in June, reflecting the value of net imports of polished and rough diamonds, widened to a deficit of $1 billion from a deficit of $586 million in June 2012.
Polished diamond imports for the first half of 2013 have risen 10.7 percent to $11.593 billion, while polished exports have jumped 12.5 percent to $10.113 billion, leaving net imports flat year on year at $1.48 billion. Rough imports contracted 16.9 percent to $212 million and exports have plunged 23.9 percent to $137 million, leaving net imports 2.6 percent lower at $74 million. The net diamond account for the January through June period was nearly flat, or down just 0.6 percent, to $1.554 billion.