Israel’s diamond exports improved in February amid steady jewelry demand in key retail markets and the opening of a trade channel with Dubai, according to government data.
Polished shipments out of Israel jumped 24% year on year to $251.6 million for the month, with volume increasing 20% to 122,784 carats, the country’s Ministry of Economy and Industry reported last week. Rough exports rose 21% to $124 million, while volume slipped 9% to 188,317 carats.
The ministry attributed the growth to higher demand for studded jewelry in the US and China. As for rough trading, 16% of exports were to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with which Israel reached a peace deal in August, the government noted. Before that, Israel was unable to ship goods directly to Dubai, an important center for rough tenders. The improvement also came despite a February lockdown in Israel, which affected the availability of flights, the ministry pointed out.
“The industry has cause for optimism after a difficult year,” said Ophir Gore, Israel’s diamond controller. “The data that the global diamond sector has seen in the past two months — especially in the American diamond and jewelry market — indicate demand has recovered. The first half of this year is expected to be particularly positive for the industry.”