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US Polished Imports Slip in October

December 25, 2022  |  Joshua Freedman
NY skyline Shutterstock

US polished-diamond imports saw a rare decline, falling 5% year on year to $1.89 billion in October, according to recent data from the country’s Department of Commerce. The decrease was the first in 20 months and reflected lower volumes, which outweighed a higher average price.

US Trade Data for October 2022

  October 2022 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $1.89B -5%
Polished exports $1.44B -13%
Net polished imports $452M 31%
Rough imports $19M 15%
Rough exports $13M -72%
Net rough imports $6M 2021: Deficit of $29M
Net diamond account $458M 45%
     
Polished imports: volume 763,680 carats -37%
Average price of polished imports $2,478/carat 51%
     
  January-October 2022 Year-on-year change
     
Polished imports $20.07B 24%
Polished exports $15.16B 26%
Net polished imports $4.91B 18%
Rough imports $240M -40%
Rough exports $265M -17%
Net rough imports -$24M 2021: Surplus of $83M
Net diamond account $4.88B 15%
     
Polished imports: volume 8.8 million carats -9%
Average price of polished imports $2,276/carat 36%
Source: US Department of Commerce 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.

Image: The New York skyline. (Shutterstock)

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