WASHINGTON: Polished-diamond imports to the US fell for the eighth consecutive month in May, according to government data. Shipments into the country slid 8% year on year to $2.85 billion, extending a negative trend that started in October 2016, figures showed. Import volume slid 12% to 1.2 million carats, with the average price climbing 5% to $2,368 per carat. May is usually one of the busiest months for US imports of polished diamonds as goods enter the country ahead of the JCK Las Vegas show at the beginning of June.
Polished exports declined 6% to $1.29 billion, while net polished imports dropped 9% to $1.56 billion. Rough imports increased 5% to $139 million, and rough exports decreased 16% to $31 million. Net rough imports jumped 13% to $108 million. The net diamond account — calculated as total rough and polished imports minus total exports —v contracted 8% to $1.67 billion. In the first five months of the year, polished imports declined 8% year on year to $9.65 billion, with polished exports down 5% to $7.02 billion. Net polished imports slid 15% to $2.63 billion. Rough imports for the five-month period dropped 13% to $369 million, while rough exports surged 52% to $278 million. Net rough imports declined 36% to $92 million. The US net diamond account for the period retreated 16% to $2.72 billion.