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Hong Kong Polished Imports Slip in 1Q

May 14, 2019

RAPAPORT... Polished-diamond imports to Hong Kong declined 3% in the first quarter, according to data from the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China. The average price of imports rose 3%, but was outweighed by lower volumes.

Hong Kong Diamond Trade Data for 1Q 2019

$ Millions unless stated otherwiseJan-Mar 2019Year-on-year change
Polished imports$5,020-3%
Polished exports$3,8509%
Net polished imports$1,169-29%
Rough imports$398-26%
Rough exports$418-54%
Net rough imports-$20Deficit decreased 95%
Net diamond account$1,149-10%
Polished imports: volume5 million carats-6%
Average price of polished imports$1,012/carat3%

Source: Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China; Rapaport calculations

About the data: As an important consumer market and gateway to China, Hong Kong is a net importer of polished diamonds. 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. Hong Kong has no operational diamond mines but has a manufacturing sector, so it should normally ship more rough in than out. The net diamond account is total rough and polished imports minus total exports. It is Hong Kong’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the city creates by importing — and ultimately consuming — diamonds.

Image: A visitor looking at goods on display at the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show in March 2019. (Hong Kong Trade Development Council)

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