As buyers returned from vacation in early January, trading activity in Ramat Gan concentrated on last minute demand for the Chinese New Year and preparations for the IIJS Signature Show in Mumbai. Polished demand remained stable with emphasis on certified stones. Rough trading slowed as dealers expected price cuts by major producers De Beers and Alrosa. A police investigation into alleged illegal foreign exchange and money lending activities in the bourse reduced trader confidence.
Toward the end of the month activity improved as the Far East returned from the Chinese New Year vacation and Israeli traders began to prepare for the Hong Kong February show, which is seen as the next important selling opportunity. Sales to the U.S. were stable, and certified polished stones continued to enjoy high demand. Rough trading improved but not to the same degree as polished.
The annual list of Israel’s 25 largest polished diamond exporters was published by the Israel Diamond Controller’s Office. This year for the first time Leo Schachter Diamonds topped the list, replacing LLD Diamonds, which held this spot for the last decade. LLD, along with 11 other companies, requested not to be included on this year’s list. Total net exports of the 25 largest companies in 2011 totaled $2.44 billion, or about 33% of Israel’s net total polished exports of $7.2 billion. Together with those that asked not to be included brought total exports to $3.69 billion, or 51.2% of Israel’s net polished exports for 2011.
During the month the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) geared up for two trade shows in February. For the first time the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair will feature an IDI-organized Israeli national pavilion with twelve leading diamond companies. IDI, which is seeking to expand marketing efforts in Asia, said that the potential for Israeli diamonds in Thailand is excellent.
The Israeli Diamond Industry will have the largest presence it has ever had at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show from to February 16 – 20, 2012. The Israeli Diamond Pavilion, organized by IDI, will feature 70 companies, 10 of them exhibiting here for the first time. In addition, 20 more Israeli companies will be exhibiting in various locations throughout the show.
Hong Kong is Israel’s second largest market for polished diamonds, representing about 30% of total polished diamond exports and these figures are growing steadily. In addition to Hong Kong, Israel supplies polished diamonds to markets such as China, India, Thailand, Singapore and Japan.
IDI Chairman Moti Ganz said that Hong Kong, as the gateway to Asia, must continue to be a major focus for the Israeli Diamond Industry. “Asian markets are showing impressive growth and we see them as the direction of the future for the Israeli Diamond Industry,” Ganz said.
IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar stressed that the institute works in conjunction with the industry to promote these efforts. “We are now participating in three major trade shows in Hong Kong – in February, June and September. In every one of these shows, our demand for exhibition space is growing. We are looking forward to a good show; I am very optimistic about the prospects for growth in Asian markets,” he said.