Israel diamond trade outshines pre-Covid times

Israel’s diamond exports and imports rose significantly in 2021, reflecting growth in major diamond and jewellery markets as well as enhanced trade with the UAE.

According to government data, polished diamond exports reached US$3.65 billion by end-2021, up 54 per cent from 2020 and 7.5 per cent from 2019. Polished diamond imports meanwhile grew 91 per cent year on year to US$2.94 billion. The figure is up 21 per cent from 2019. Rough diamond exports hit US$1.8 billion, up 109 per cent and 25 per cent from 2020 and 2019, respectively. Rough diamond imports totalled US$2.07 billion, an increase of 94 per cent from 2020 and 17.5 per cent from 2019.

Ophir Gur, diamond controller and director of the Diamond, Gemstones and Jewelry Administration at Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, attributed the industry’s “rapid recovery” to steady market demand for diamonds and diamond jewellery. Direct trade with the UAE, which began at the end of 2020, also notably boosted business in 2021.

Aviel Elia, managing director of the Israel Diamond Institute, remains upbeat about prospects in 2022. “The first quarter will show strong demand for diamonds as the US and other diamond buyers replenish inventories that were vastly reduced during the 2021 holiday season,” noted Elia.

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