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US Polished Imports Drop in Early 2019

Average price slips in January and February.
May 2, 2019 4:26 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The US polished-diamond trade was sluggish in the first two months of the year, with imports declining and exports stable. Both categories recorded a weaker February than January. The drops in import value reflected a lower average price in both months, outweighing higher volumes.

US Diamond Trade Data for February 2019

Millions unless stated otherwise Feb 2019 Year-on-year change
Polished imports $1,448 -3%
Polished exports $1,789 -3%
Net polished imports $-341 Deficit decreased 3%
Rough imports $38 48%
Rough exports $21 -64%
Net rough imports $16 2018: Deficit of $35M
Net diamond account $-325 Deficit decreased 16%
     
Polished imports: volume 617,620 carats 4%
Average price of polished imports $2,344/carat -7%
     
Jan-Feb 2019 Year-on-year change
Polished imports $3,277 -1%
Polished exports $3,366 0%
Net polished imports $-89 Deficit increased 45%
Rough imports $73 -11%
Rough exports $63 -15%
Net rough imports $10 35%
Net diamond account $-79 Deficit increased 46%
     
Polished imports: volume 1.5 million carats 7%
Average price of polished imports $2,182/carat -8%

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: The corner of Sixth Avenue and West 47th Street in New York’s diamond district. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Average Price, exports, imports, net diamond account, net polished imports, Net rough imports, new york, polished exports, polished imports, polished-diamond trade, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports, US
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