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US Polished Imports Down 66% in March

Shipments hit lowest monthly level since December 2002.
May 19, 2020 6:47 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... US polished-diamond imports fell in March to their lowest level since December 2002 as the coronavirus hit global trading. The month saw the 12th consecutive year-on-year decline, according to Rapaport archives based on data from the US Commerce Department.

US Trade Data for March 2020
  Mar 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $750M -66%
Polished exports $936M -44%
Net polished imports -$185M 2019: Surplus of $568M
Rough imports $11M -72%
Rough exports $15M -78%
Net rough imports -$4M Deficit decreased 86%
Net diamond account -$189M 2019: Surplus of $542M
     
Polished imports: volume 454,810 carats -51%
Average price of polished imports $1,650/carat -31%
     
  Jan-Mar 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $3.18B -42%
Polished exports $4.02B -20%
Net polished imports -$842M 2019: Surplus of $479M
Rough imports $55M -51%
Rough exports $72M -44%
Net rough imports -$17M Deficit increased 2%
Net diamond account -$859M 2019: Surplus of $462M
     
Polished imports: volume 1.9 million carats -21%
Average price of polished imports $1,656/carat -27%


Source: US Commerce Department data; 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: A woman wears a mask in Manhattan. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Coronavirus, COVID-19, exports, imports, net diamond account, net polished imports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports, trade data, US, US Commerce Department
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