Israel's net polished diamond exports were revived in July when compared to June, up 154.9% to $237.3 million. The increase hides however, a bitter truth – the country's exports are declining.
Compared to July 2011, Israel's net polished diamond exports fell 66.8%, based on figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
In the first seven months of 2012, Israel exported $3.62 billion worth of polished diamonds, a 24.2% decline compared to 2011.
Rough diamond exports reflect a similar, yet more extreme trend. Net exports in July totaled $167.3 million, an 8.5% month-over-month decline.
Year-over-year, the decline is 52.4%.
In the first seven months of the year, Israel exported $1.66 billion worth of rough diamonds, a 36.4% decline compared to 2011.
Polished and rough diamond imports of $576.2 million are a 2.4% decline compared to June. Once again, year-over-year, the decline is a large one, 49.6%. CBS reports rough and polished diamond imports together.
The figures reflect the weakening demand from the consumer markets, a trend that is expected to change once retailers start to stock up for the November-December holiday season.
At the same time, Israeli traders insisted on maintaining higher prices, which has further harmed demand, sending buyers to India where many traders are lowering prices due to pressure from the banking system.