US polished-diamond imports rose 18% to $2.59 billion in May, the first year-on-year increase for eight months and the highest total since May 2019, according to recent data from the US Commerce Department. The growth likely reflects the timing of the JCK Las Vegas show, which ran from June 2 to 5. The 2022 edition took place from June 10 to 13, meaning a smaller proportion of shipments to the event occurred in May.
Source: US Commerce Department data; 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.
Main image: New York’s 47th Street. (Shutterstock)