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US Polished Imports See 20th Consecutive Drop

Jan 31, 2021 5:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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US polished-diamond imports fell 1% year on year to $1.37 billion in November, data from the US Commerce Department showed. The decline was the 20th consecutive monthly drop, according to Rapaport records. The November slowdown reflected a sharp slide in the average price per carat (see graph below), which outweighed higher volumes.

US Trade Data for November 2020

  November 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $1.37B -1%
Polished exports $976M -28%
Net polished imports $389M 1822%
Rough imports $60M 197%
Rough exports $62M 168%
Net rough imports -$2M Deficit decreased 43%
Net diamond account $387M 2117%
     
Polished imports: volume 885,240 carats 62%
Average price of polished imports $1,542/carat -39%
     
  January-November 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $10.59B -42%
Polished exports $9.09B -44%
Net polished imports $1.5B -18%
Rough imports $207M -33%
Rough exports $208M -25%
Net rough imports -$2M 2019: Surplus of $31M
Net diamond account $1.5B -20%
     
Polished imports: volume 6.2 million carats -28%
Average price of polished imports $1,701/carat -19%


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: Jewelry-store window in New York. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Commerce Department, exports, imports, net diamond account, new york, Rapaport News, US
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