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US Polished Imports Rise in 1Q

Stronger March cancels out negative start to year.
Jun 6, 2019 7:53 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Shipments of polished diamonds to the US grew 4% to $5.51 billion in the first quarter, as a stronger March canceled out a negative start to the year. Imports rose 13% to $2.23 billion for the month, compared with a 1% rise in January and a 3% decline in February.

US Diamond Trade Data for March 2019

Millions unless stated otherwise Mar 2019 Change
Polished imports $2,233 13%
Polished exports $1,665 0%
Net polished imports $568 84%
Rough imports $40 -64%
Rough exports $66 -3%
Net rough imports $-26 2018: Surplus of $43M
Net diamond account $542 54%
     
Polished imports: volume 928,150 carats 5%
Average price of polished imports $2,406/carat 7%
     
1Q 2019 Change
Polished imports $5,510 4%
Polished exports $5,031 0%
Net polished imports $479 94%
Rough imports $113 -42%
Rough exports $130 -10%
Net rough imports $-16 2018: Surplus of $50M
Net diamond account $462 55%
     
Polished imports: volume 2.4 million carats 7%
Average price of polished imports $2,268/carat -2%

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.

Main image: A woman in a jewelry-store window in New York’s diamond district. (Timothy Krause/Flickr)
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Tags: net diamond account, new york, Polished Diamonds, polished imports, Rapaport News, Rough Diamonds, trade data, US
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