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Hong Kong Polished Imports Drop in 2019

Feb 9, 2020 9:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Polished-diamond imports to Hong Kong declined 13% in 2019 according to data from the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China. Polished imports fell 17% in the fourth quarter, the official figures showed. The decline reflected a slowdown in the diamond market amid weak consumer sentiment and social unrest in the municipality. 

Hong Kong Trade Data for 2019
  Jan-Dec 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $16,502 -13%
Polished exports $12,641 -8%
Net polished imports $3,861 -28%
Rough imports $1,315 -33%
Rough exports $1,408 -46%
Net rough imports -$92 Deficit narrowed 86%
Net diamond account $3,768 -19%
     
Polished imports: volume 17.6 million carats -8%
Average price of polished imports $939/carat -6%
     
  Oct-Dec 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $3,404 -17%
Polished exports $2,896 -9%
Net polished imports $508 -44%
Rough imports $240 -51%
Rough exports $294 -45%
Net rough imports -$53.2 Deficit widened 24%
Net diamond account $455 -47%
     
Polished imports: volume 3.9 million carats -5%
Average price of polished imports $883/carat -12%
All numbers in millions unless stated otherwise. Fourth-quarter figures are Rapaport calculations based on data from the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China.


Source: Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China; Rapaport calculations

About the data: As an important consumer market and gateway to China, Hong Kong is a net importer of polished diamonds. 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. Hong Kong has no operational diamond mines but has a manufacturing sector, so it should normally ship more rough in than out. The net diamond account is total rough and polished imports minus total exports. It is Hong Kong’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the city creates by importing — and ultimately consuming — diamonds.

Image: Hong Kong harbor at night. (Pixabay)
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