Global Slowdown Hits Israel’s Diamond Trade in June
Israel’s net polished-diamond exports slumped in June as global markets slowed and goods returned from the JCK Las Vegas show.
Shipments out of the country fell to minus $4.9 million for the month, versus a positive number of $319.6 million a year earlier, the Ministry of Economy and Industry reported Wednesday. The government releases figures on a net basis, meaning that it subtracts stones that came back to Israel — for example, if they went unsold. By volume, exports dropped 38% to 74,664 carats.
The numbers reflect the slightly earlier timing of the JCK show compared with 2022. May’s polished exports more than quadrupled because of shipments ahead of the US fair, which occurred from June 2 to 5; last year’s event ran from June 10 to 13. On a gross basis, Israel’s June polished exports declined 21% year on year to $734.1 million.
Polished imports were down 13% year on year on a net basis, coming to $240.7 million. Rough exports slipped 63% to $69.7 million, while rough imports also declined 63% to $78.5 million.
For the first six months of 2023, polished exports slid 24% to $1.7 billion, while rough imports slumped 45% to $555.1 million.
The drop in polished trading, which is the result of a global downturn, has moderated somewhat, said Ophir Gore, Israel’s diamond controller, who regulates the sector. “We will likely see a change to the negative trend toward the end of the year due to a recovery in sales in the Chinese market,” he added.