According to the data released last week by the diamond controller, Shmuel Mordechai at the Trade and Labour Ministry, Israel there was a 58.3% drop in the export of polished diamonds compared to the same period last year.
Polished diamond exports during the first half of this year totalled US$ 1.58 billion.
The declining trend in diamond exports which began in September 2008 due to the global recession has hit the Israeli diamond industry. Diamonds are luxury items and during any financial crisis people will cut down on luxury items as expected. However there was evidence of a slight recovery during the latter part of the 2nd quarter.
There was also a drop in the imports of rough diamonds which totaled $797 million during the first six months of 2009, a 63.4% drop. There has been a recent halt to the falling diamond prices which is probably an indication of early recovery of the diamond industry.
The United States remains the main market for exports of polished diamonds since the beginning of the year, with 51% of all Israeli exports. Hong Kong follows with 23% of Israeli exports, Switzerland with 9%, Belgium with 7%m England with 2% and other countries with 8%.