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US Polished Imports Continue to Drop

Nov 22, 2020 9:37 AM   By Rapaport News
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The US recorded its 18th consecutive monthly fall in polished-diamond imports as the coronavirus pandemic continued to affect trading. Shipments dropped 10% year on year to $1.34 billion in September — the gentlest decline since March, according to data from the US Commerce Department. The category hasn’t seen an increase since April 2019.

US Trade Data for September 2020

  September 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $1.34B -10%
Polished exports $931M -35%
Net polished imports $404M 783%
Rough imports $13M 0%
Rough exports $18M 41%
Net rough imports -$5M 2019: Surplus of $1M
Net diamond account $399M 761%
     
Polished imports: volume 987,660 carats 16%
Average price of polished imports $1,352/carat -22%
     
  January-September 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $7.88B -49%
Polished exports $6.97B -50%
Net polished imports $907M -37%
Rough imports $114M -56%
Rough exports $136M -45%
Net rough imports -$21M 2019: Surplus of $17M
Net diamond account $886M -39%
     
Polished imports: volume 4.5 million carats -39%
Average price of polished imports $1,756/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 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: Polished diamond in loupe. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Commerce Department, exports, imports, net diamond account, net polished imports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports, US, US Commerce Department
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