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US Diamond Trading Sees Pre-Holiday Spike

Jan 9, 2022 9:49 AM   By Rapaport News
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US polished-diamond imports reached their highest total for more than two years as the industry prepared inventory for the holiday season.

Shipments jumped 49% year on year to $2 billion in October — a level the trade had not seen for any month since May 2019, according to recent data from the US Department of Commerce. The increase coincided with a sharp rise in India’s polished exports ahead of the Diwali shutdown.

US Trade Data for October 2021

  October 2021 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $2B 49%
Polished exports $1.65B 46%
Net polished imports $346M 71%
Rough imports $16M -49%
Rough exports $46M 321%
Net rough imports -$29M 2020: Surplus of $21M
Net diamond account $317M 42%
     
Polished imports: volume 1.2 million carats 44%
Average price of polished imports $1,639/carat 4%
     
  January-October 2021 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $16.21B 76%
Polished exports $12.04B 48%
Net polished imports $4.17B 276%
Rough imports $403M 175%
Rough exports $320M 118%
Net rough imports $83M 2020: Deficit of $70,000
Net diamond account $4.25B 283%
     
Polished imports: volume 9.7 million carats 81%
Average price of polished imports $1,673/carat -3%


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: New York. (Piqsels)
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