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US Polished Imports Slowed in November

February 10, 2019

RAPAPORT... The US saw a 4% decline in polished-diamond imports in November, according to data from the US Census Bureau. The average price fell 9%, outweighing a 5% increase in volume. Trade figures were still positive for the January-to-November period, with a 7% jump in total import value, reflecting a similar rise in the price per carat.

US Diamond Trade Data for November 2018

Millions unless stated otherwiseNov 18Year-on-year change
Polished imports$1,700-4%
Polished exports$1,5051%
Net polished imports$195-31%
Rough imports$94-34%
Rough exports$29-87%
Net rough imports$652017: Deficit of $74M
Net diamond account$26024%
Polished imports: volume722,040 carats5%
Average price of polished imports$2,354/carat-9%
Jan-Nov 2018Year-on-year change
Polished imports$21,6527%
Polished exports$18,1979%
Net polished imports$3,4550%
Rough imports$584-34%
Rough exports$452-45%
Net rough imports$132135%
Net diamond account$3,5882%
Polished imports: volume9.3 million carats0%
Average price of polished imports$2,337/carat7%

Source: US Census Bureau; 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 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: The corner of Sixth Avenue and 47th Street in New York’s diamond district. (Tdorante10)

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