US polished-diamond imports fell 12% year on year to $1.6 billion in January, the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year declines, according to recent data from the Commerce Department. Those drops — reflecting weakened consumer demand in the final months of the year — followed 19 successive months of growth. Full-year polished imports jumped 19% to $22.97 billion in 2022 as the sector continued its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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: New York. (Shutterstock)