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China Diamond Imports Slump as Lockdowns Bite

Jul 7, 2022 7:41 AM   By Rapaport News
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Mainland China’s diamond trade tumbled in the first half of this year as the country’s response to a fresh coronavirus wave hit consumer spending, according to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE).

Total rough and polished transactions through the SDE slid 46% year on year to $2.06 billion for the six months, the SDE reported Wednesday. Polished imports dropped 36% to $1.01 billion on a net basis — excluding goods that entered China but returned unsold.

The SDE’s figures essentially reflect China’s total shipments of diamonds for domestic sale, as the bourse is the country’s only official channel for shipping polished at favorable tax rates.

China, and especially the city of Shanghai, were on various levels of lockdown between March and May. The market picked up in June, with net polished imports rising 48% year on year to $441 million for the month.

“With the launch of economic stimulus packages by the Chinese government, we believe the domestic consumer market will be back to the track of growth in the second half of the year,” commented Lin Qiang, president of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE). “Demand for wedding and diamond jewelry, which was greatly suppressed by the pandemic in the first half of the year, will be gradually released.”

Net polished imports grew from $31 million in 2002 to a record $2.92 billion in 2021, the exchange said.

Image: Shanghai during the recent lockdown. (Shutterstock)
Tags: China, Lin Qiang, lockdowns, mainland china, Rapaport News, SDE, shanghai, Shanghai Diamond Exchange
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