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US Polished Trade Grows in First Quarter

May 25, 2022 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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US polished-diamond imports rose 41% to $6.34 billion in the first three months of the year, according to recent data from the US Department of Commerce. The figure did not yet reflect the impact of the Ukraine war, which led to Western restrictions on imports of Russian goods.

The US prohibited the import of Russian-origin diamonds during March and placed further restrictions on transactions with Alrosa in April. However, it took a while for the industry to adjust to the changes.

US Trade Data for March 2022

  March 2022 Year-on-year change
Polished imports $2.27B 31%
Polished exports $1.61B 31%
Net polished imports $666M 32%
Rough imports $21M 42%
Rough exports $15M -12%
Net rough imports $6M 2021: Deficit of $2M
Net diamond account $672M 33%
Polished imports: volume 913,670 carats -3%
Average price of polished imports $2,486/carat 35%
  January-March 2022 Year-on-year change
Polished imports $6.34B 41%
Polished exports $4.65B 39%
Net polished imports $1.69B 46%
Rough imports $53M -13%
Rough exports $73M 33%
Net rough imports -$20M 2021: Surplus of $5M
Net diamond account $1.67B 43%
Polished imports: volume 2.8 million carats 14%
Average price of polished imports $2,295/carat 23%

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: The New York diamond district, October 2015. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Department of Commerce, exports, imports, net diamond account, Rapaport News, Russia, sanctions, US, US Department of Commerce
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