US Polished Imports Return to Downward Trend


RAPAPORT… US polished-diamond imports fell again in February after showing signs of stabilizing in the previous month, according to recent data from the US Department of Commerce. Shipments dropped 7% to $1.35 billion as a 9% drop in the average price outweighed a slight increase in the volume of imports.

US Trade Data for February 2021

 February 2021Year-on-year change
Polished imports$1.35B-7%
Polished exports$1.01B-27%
Net polished imports$344M466%
Rough imports$35M45%
Rough exports$34M62%
Net rough imports$1M-67%
Net diamond account$345M440%
Polished imports: volume667,030 carats2%
Average price of polished imports$2,022/carat-9%
 January-February 2021Year-on-year change
Polished imports$2.77B-3%
Polished exports$2.12B-20%
Net polished imports$654M184%
Rough imports$46M3%
Rough exports$38M-33%
Net rough imports$7M2019: Deficit of $13M
Net diamond account$662M205%
Polished imports: volume1.5 million carats1%
Average price of polished imports$1,878/carat-4%
Sources: US Department of Commerce; 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.

Image: Empire State Building with US flags. (Shutterstock)

Source: Rapaport


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