Rapaport Magazine

Economic Bulletin

U.S. Polished Imports Drop

U.S. polished diamond imports fell 22 percent year on year to approximately $1.28 billion in August.
  • Polished diamond exports declined by 8 percent to almost $1.28 billion. 
  • Rough diamond imports jumped 29 percent to $40 million. 
  • Rough diamond exports surged 43 percent to $20 million. 
  • During the first eight months of 2012, the U.S. imported $13.5 billion worth of polished diamonds, reflecting a drop of 10 percent from 2011.


Israel’s Polished Exports Fall
Israel’s polished diamond exports fell 26 percent year on year to $4.34 billion during the first nine months of 2012, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. However, the Ministry did not present separate third-quarter data at press time.

Shmuel Mordechai, Israel’s diamond controller, noted that the pace of decline eased in the third quarter after a dramatic drop in polished exports and rough imports during the second quarter of the year. From January to September 2012:
  • Polished diamond imports decreased by 26 percent to $3.08 billion.
  • Rough diamond imports dropped 25 percent to $2.65 billion.
  • Rough diamond exports declined 31 percent to $2.07 billion. 

India’s Polished Exports Plummet
India’s September polished diamond exports declined 39 percent year on year to approximately $1.51 billion, according to provisional trade data provided by the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
  • Polished diamond imports plunged 72 percent to $371 million. 
  • Rough diamond imports surged 44 percent to almost $1.35 billion in September.
  • Rough diamond exports fell by only 1 percent to $157.8 million.

Belgium’s Polished Exports Down
Belgium’s polished diamond exports fell 19 percent year on year to $1.33 billion in September, the Antwerp World Diamond Council (AWDC) reported.
  • Polished diamond imports fell 23 percent to $1.18 billion. 
  • Rough diamond imports rose 5 percent to $1.07 billion.
  • Rough diamond exports increased 8 percent to $1.15 billion.

De Beers Production Falls
De Beers production fell 31 percent year on year to 6.375 million carats in the third quarter of 2012, according to parent company Anglo American. The decline resulted from difficult market conditions and a slope failure at its flagship Jwaneng mine during June that temporarily prevented access to the mine’s main ore body.
De Beers rough sales to sightholders have decreased by 17 percent to $4.74 billion in the first ten months of 2012, according to Rapaport estimates.

Rockwell Revenue Drops
Rockwell Diamonds reported that gross diamond revenues fell 20 percent year on year to $7.5 million in its second fiscal quarter that ended on August 31. Rockwell’s rough diamond sales were basically flat at $7.1 million during the quarter, while its beneficiation revenue, derived through a partnership with Steinmetz Diamond Group, slumped 81 percent to less than $500,000. Group production totaled 4,830 carats during the quarter.

Rio Tinto Production Up
Rio Tinto reported that its diamond production grew 5 percent year on year to 3.706 million carats in the third quarter of 2012. Production increased mainly due to higher grades of diamonds recovered from Rio Tinto’s wholly owned Argyle mine in Australia. During the first nine months of the year, Rio Tinto’s diamond production increased 13 percent to 9.873 million carats.

Japan’s Polished imports Up
Japan’s polished diamond imports rose 4 percent year on year to $66.1 million in August, Momozawa reported, citing the Finance Ministry. By volume, imports decreased 20 percent to 136,862 carats, while the average price of the goods rose 30 percent to $483 per carat.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - November 2012. To subscribe click here.

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