Polished Diamond Exports Top $7 Billion, up by 7%




Israel’s diamond trade figures for 2007 showed a substantial rise in all areas, making 2007 the best year ever for the Israeli Diamond Industry.


According to figures released by Shmuel Mordechai, Israel’s Diamond Controller in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, net polished diamond exports in 2007 totaled $7.076 billion, a 7 percent rise over 2006, when they stood at $6.611 billion.


Net exports of rough diamonds for the year amounted to $3.386 billion, compared to $2.699 billion in 2006, an increase of 25.5 percent.


Net imports of polished diamonds for 2007 climbed $4.558 billion, compared to $4.240 billion in 2006, a rise of 13.3 percent.


Net imports of rough diamonds in 2007 stood at $5.084 billion, an 8 percent increase over the figure for 2006, when it totaled $4.709 billion.


The United States remained the largest market for Israel’s polished exports accounting for 53 percent of the total, compared to 63% in the previous year. Hong Kong imported 19 percent, compared to 16 percent in 2006; Belgium 8 percent, Switzerland 6 percent and India 2 percent.


Net polished exports to the U.S. stood at $3.731 billion, Hong Kong $1.310 billion, Belgium $562 million, Switzerland $429 million and India $109 million.


Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) Chairman Moti Ganz said that he was gratified with the results for 2007. “The world diamond industry is undergoing major changes -- in rough supply, in manufacturing locations, and the awakening of new consumer markets. I am pleased to say that the Israeli Diamond Industry is proving its strength by adjusting to these changes successfully. While 2008 promises to be a challenging year, I am confident Israel will  maintain its position as a leading player in the world diamond arena.”


Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Avi Paz said that despite the decrease in sales to the U.S., Israeli diamantaires had succeeded by dispersing their sales to additional markets. “The distribution of  polished diamond exports over a wide base of markets is very important for the Israeli Diamond Industry. We have targeted China and India for the coming year, since they have the greatest potential for future growth. Japan is also a very important market for our industry.”


IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar noted that the Israeli Diamond Industry, represented by the IDI Group of Companies, took important steps in meeting the challenges facing the global industry. “During the year, we focused our activities in several strategic directions. We targeted China and its neighbors as a major market for Israeli diamond exports. To this end we opened IDI Asia Pacific in Hong Kong to serve the region and launched the first Chinese language portal site of any diamond center. In the field of rough supply, we initiated ties with African rough producing countries, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Liberia to promote ties between the diamond industries of both countries. The Third International Rough Diamond Conference which we are organizing on February 11 and 12 in Tel Aviv will be the key event on the rough diamond calendar of 2008.”


Avidar added that the Israeli Diamond Industry represented by IDI would continue its dynamic pace in spearheading initiatives during the coming year.


Sharon Gefen Marketing & Communications Ltd.