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US Polished Imports Maintain Upward Trend

Aug 11, 2021 7:43 AM   By Rapaport News
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US polished-diamond imports leaped 93% year on year to $1.59 billion in June, capping off six months of recovery for the industry. Figures stabilized at pre-pandemic levels — and sometimes higher — in the second quarter, according to data from the US Department of Commerce, while first-half imports jumped 88% versus the same period of 2020. Shipment volumes rose significantly during 2021; however, the average price for the year to date fell 15% to $1,734 per carat.

US Trade Data for June 2021

  June 2021 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $1.59B 93%
Polished exports $1.24B 139%
Net polished imports $348M 15%
Rough imports $49M 360%
Rough exports $49M 233%
Net rough imports $0M 2020: Deficit of $4M
Net diamond account $348M 16%
     
Polished imports: volume 1 million carats 167%
Average price of polished imports $1,572/carat -28%
     
  January-June 2021 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $9.26B 88%
Polished exports $6.89B 56%
Net polished imports $2.37B 382%
Rough imports $156M 116%
Rough exports $141M 43%
Net rough imports $15M 2020: Deficit of $26M
Net diamond account $2.38B 412%
     
Polished imports: volume 5.3 million carats 121%
Average price of polished imports $1,734/carat -15%


Source: US Commerce Department data; Rapaport archives.

About the data: The US, the world’s largest diamond retail market, is a net importer of polished. As such, net polished imports — representing polished imports minus polished exports — will usually be a positive number. Net rough imports — calculated as rough imports minus rough exports — will also generally be in surplus. The nation has no operational diamond mines but has a manufacturing sector, so it normally ships more rough in than out. The net diamond account is total rough and polished imports minus total exports. It is the US’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by importing — and ultimately consuming — diamonds.

Image: New York’s 47th Street. (Shutterstock)
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