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Hong Kong Trading Hits New Low

Polished imports down 45% in second quarter.
Aug 9, 2020 10:50 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT...
 Polished-diamond imports into Hong slumped in the second quarter as the Covid-19 pandemic damaged local demand. Shipments into the municipality fell 45% year on year to $2.24 billion, the weakest for any quarter since 2009 — outstripping the first quarter’s low of $2.33 billion.

Diamond imports into Hong Kong reflect the local retail market, as well as that of China, for which the territory is an important entry point. The city’s polished exports to the mainland fell 42% to $418.3 million in the second quarter, according to Rapaport calculations.

Hong Kong Trade Data for 2Q 2020
  April-June 2020 Year-on-year change
Polished imports $2.24B -45%
Polished exports $1.6B -47%
Net polished imports $643M -41%
Rough imports $69M -84%
Rough exports $76M -81%
Net rough imports -$8M 2019: Surplus of $29M
Net diamond account $636M -43%
     
Polished imports: volume 2.3 million carats -48%
Average price of polished imports $993/carat 4%
     
  Jan-June 2020 Year-on-year change
Polished imports $4.57B -50%
Polished exports $3.72B -46%
Net polished imports $848M -62%
Rough imports $223M -73%
Rough exports $276M -66%
Net rough imports -$52M 2019: Surplus of $9M
Net diamond account $796M -65%
     
Polished imports: volume 4.6 million carats -50%
Average price of polished imports $990/carat 1%

Second-quarter figures are Rapaport calculations based on data from the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China.


Source: Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China; Rapaport calculations and archives

About the data: As an important consumer market and gateway to China, Hong Kong is a net importer of polished diamonds. 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. Hong Kong has no operational diamond mines but has a manufacturing sector, so it should normally ship more rough in than out. The net diamond account is total rough and polished imports minus total exports. It is Hong Kong’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the city creates by importing — and ultimately consuming — diamonds.

Image: The Hong Kong skyline. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: China, Hong Kong, mainland china, net diamond account, net polished imports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports
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