WASHINGTON: US polished-diamond imports fell by both value and volume in June, according to data the government released recently. Polished imports declined 2.7% year on year to $1.67 billion, while by volume they slid 8% to 728,000 carats, the figures showed. The average price rose 6% to $2,294 per carat.
Polished exports increased 4.5% to $2.71 billion, leaving net polished imports 19% higher than a year ago at negative $1.04 billion, as the US exported a larger value of goods than it imported. June is a relatively quiet month for the US polished import trade, but is one of the busiest times of the year for exports, as goods return from the Las Vegas trade shows that take place at the start of the month. During the month, rough imports stood at $102 million, versus $23 million a year ago, while rough exports jumped 55% to $78 million. Net rough imports were $24 million, compared with negative $27 million a year earlier.
The US net diamond account for June — representing total rough and polished imports minus total exports — came to negative $1.02 billion, versus negative $903 million a year earlier. In the six months to June, polished imports dropped 7% to $11.32 billion, with polished exports slipping 2.6% to $9.73 billion. Net polished imports slumped 28% to $1.59 billion. Rough imports grew 35% to $471 million, with rough exports up 53% to $355 million, leaving net rough imports 1.2% lower at $116 million. The US net diamond account for the first half fell 27% to $1.7 billion.