The Israeli diamond industry has seen an impressive recovery in 2021 from a COVID-induced slump with net exports for polished diamonds totaling $US3.65 billion ($AU5 billion).
According to the Israel Diamond Controller of the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the export figures represented a 54 per cent increase when compared with 2020 and a 7.5 per cent rise over the pre-COVID 2019 period.
“I do not think anyone, just a year ago, expected such a rapid recovery of the industry,” Ophir Gus, director of the ministry’s Diamond, Gemstones and Jewellery Administration, said.
The figures reflected international rising trends in the diamond and jewellery industries, and cited initiatives such as the “direct trade with the UAE, which began at the end of 2020 and was a significant factor in 2021.”
Net imports for polished diamonds totaled $US2.94 billion ($AU4 billion) which significantly increased by 91 per cent compared with 2020 and rose by 21 per cent when measured against 2019.
Net exports for rough diamonds increased by 109 per cent to $US1.8 billion ($AU2.5 billion) and a 25 per cent increase from 2019.
Rough diamond net imports rose by 94 per cent valued at $US2.07 billion ($AU2.87 billion) compared with 2020 and increased by 17.5 per cent when measured against pre-COVID 2019.
Ministry officials have considered implementing free trade zones to boost Israel’s diamond industry, as well as strengthening trade ties with the UAE and emerging Qatari markets.
“We are very gratified by the industry’s excellent performance during 2021 and we are optimistic for 2022,” Aviel Elia, managing director, Israel Diamond Institute said.
“We believe that the first quarter will show strong demand for diamonds as [the] US and other diamond buyers replenish inventories that were vastly reduced during the 2021 holiday season,” he added.