The US saw an increase in polished-diamond imports in the first half of 2018, reflecting robust consumer demand and a higher average price. Inbound shipments rose 5% by value in the first six months, and jumped 8% in the second quarter. April to June is a busy period for the US polished trade due to the JCK Las Vegas show. June itself was slightly slower than a year ago, with imports down 1% as lower volumes offset a higher average price. 

US Diamond Trade Data for June 2018

$ Millions unless stated otherwiseJune 2018Year-on-year change
Polished imports 1,648 -1%
Polished exports 2,343 -14%
Net polished imports(696) Deficit decreased 33%
Rough imports 63 -38%
Rough exports 43 -45%
Net rough imports 20 -16%
Net diamond account (675) Deficit decreased 34%
Polished imports: volume (thousand carats) 703 -3%
Average price of polished imports ($/carat) 2,345 2%
Apr-June 2018 Year-on-year change
Polished imports 6,559 8%
Polished exports 5,202 1%
Net polished imports 1,357 47%
Rough imports 163 -39
Rough exports 155 -30
Net rough imports 8 -83
Net diamond account 1,365 41%
Jan-June 2018 Year-on-year change
Polished imports 11,851 5%
Polished exports 10,247 5%
Net polished imports 1,605 1%
Rough imports 356 -24%
Rough exports 298 -16%
Net rough imports 58 -50%
Net diamond account 1,663 -2%

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: avagyanlevon/Shutterstock 

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