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US Polished Imports Decline

Sep 24, 2019 10:26 AM   By Rapaport News
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US polished-diamond imports dropped 21% to $1.6 billion in July, according to the latest data from the Commerce Department. This year’s downward trend has continued, with polished imports falling 10% for the first seven months. The average price of shipments has also decreased during 2019.

US Trade Data for July 2019
  July 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $1,598 -21%
Polished exports $1,154 -18%
Net polished imports $444 -29%
Rough imports $32 5%
Rough exports $16 -40%
Net rough imports $16 311%
Net diamond account $461 -27%
     
Polished imports: volume 793,670 carats 2%
Average price of polished imports $2,014/carat -23%
 
  Jan-July 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $12,541 -10%
Polished exports $11,309 -3%
Net polished imports $1,232 -45%
Rough imports $239 -38%
Rough exports $209 -36%
Net rough imports $30 -51%
Net diamond account $1,262 -45%
     
Polished imports: volume 5.8 million carats 1%
Average price of polished imports $2,162/carat -11%

All numbers in millions unless stated otherwise.

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: The intersection of West 47th Street and 6th Avenue in New York’s diamond district. (Shutterstock)
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