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US Polished Trade Continues to Decline

September polished imports down 24%.
Dec 1, 2019 7:57 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... US polished-diamond imports fell 24% to $1.48 billion in September, according to the latest data from the US Commerce Department. The decline reflected lower volumes and a drop in the average price. Polished imports fell 13% to $15.37 billion for the first nine months of the year.

US Trade Data for September 2019

  Sep 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $1,484 -24%
Polished exports $1,438 -13%
Net polished imports $46 -84%
Rough imports $13 -73%
Rough exports $13 -56%
Net rough imports $1 -97%
Net diamond account $46 -85%
     
Polished imports: volume 851,910 carats -6%
Average price of polished imports $1,742/carat -19%
     
     
  Jan-Sep 2019 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $15,369 -13%
Polished exports $13,938 -7%
Net polished imports $1,431 -44%
Rough imports $262 -43%
Rough exports $245 -36%
Net rough imports $17 -78%
Net diamond account $1,448 -45%
     
Polished imports: volume 7.4 million carats -2%
Average price of polished imports $2,076/carat -11%

All numbers in millions unless stated otherwise.


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: New York. (Piqsels)
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