US Polished Imports Fall in October

US polished-diamond imports dropped 21% to $1.5 billion in October, recording a fifth consecutive year-on-year decline, according to recent data from the US Commerce Department. The decrease reflected a fall in the volume of imports as well as a lower average price. Polished imports have not seen a year-on-year rise since May, when the timing of the JCK Las Vegas show prompted an 18% increase.

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 it 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.