Exports in May 2006, reaching $880.5 million, compared to $804.1 million in the same month of 2005 according to statistics
in May 2006, reaching $880.5 million, compared to $804.1 million in the same month of 2005, according to statistics released by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor's Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai. From January to May 2006 net polished diamond exports decreased by 1.5% to reach $3.043 billion, compared to $3.089 billion during the same period of 2005.
Net imports of rough diamonds declined by 17.0% to total $445.7 million in May 2006, as compared to $537.2 million in the same month of 2005. From the beginning of the year net rough imports declined by 11.6%, totalling $1.893 billion compared to $2.140 billion in the same period of 2005.
Net rough diamond exports from Israel stood at $267.4 million in May 2006, a decline of 33.7% over May 2005, when they totaled $403.4 billion. For January - May 2006 rough exports were $1.235 billion, a decline of 19.6% over the same period last year, when they were $1.536 billion.
Israel's net imports of polished diamonds in May decreased by 6.0%, totaling $326.7 million, as compared to $347.5 million in the same month of 2005. Since the beginning of 2006 they increased by 1.2% to total $1.546 billion, compared to $1.528 billion in the same period of 2005.
Israel's diamond leaders expressed cautious optimism concerning results expected for the remainder of the year. Simcha Lustig, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, said that he was encouraged that the first five months of the year showed a decline that was almost negligible, and that he expected that the next several months would show a significant rise in exports. "I believe that there will be brisk sales at the Las Vegas show. That, combined with the World Diamond Congress, opening in Israel later in the month, will be a shot in the arm for the Israeli diamond industry and will change the picture substantially."
The major export markets for Israel's polished diamonds in May were the United States with 69%, Hong Kong 13%, Belgium 6%, Switzerland 4% and England 2%.