The Israeli diamond industry showed an impressive recovery during 2021, and even surpassed the figures for 2019, according to import and export data published by the Israel Diamond Controller of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
During 2021, net polished diamond exports totalled $3.65 billion, an increase of 54% compared to 2020, and 7.5% compared to 2019. Net polished diamond imports amounted to $2.94 billion, an increase of 91% compared to 2020 and 21% compared to 2019.
Net exports of rough diamonds stood at $1.8 billion, an increase of 109% compared to 2020 and 25% compared to 2019. Net imports of rough diamonds to Israel totalled $2.07 billion, an increase of 94% compared to 2020 and 17.5% compared to 2019.
Ophir Gur, Diamond Controller and Director of the Diamond, Gemstones and Jewelry Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, said, “I do not think anyone, just a year ago, expected such a rapid recovery of the industry. The impressive figures reflect the worldwide growth trends in the diamond and jewellery industries, but there were also local reasons, first and foremost the direct trade with the UAE, which began at the end of 2020 and was a significant factor in 2021.”
Aviel Elia, Managing Director of the Israel Diamond Institute, said, “We are very gratified by the industry’s excellent performance during 2021 and we are optimistic for 2022. We believe that the first quarter will show strong demand for diamonds as US and other diamond buyers replenish inventories that were vastly reduced during the 2021 holiday season.”
Ministry of Economy and Industry sources said that in order to ensure continued growth of the diamond industry, the government was considering implementing a Free Trade Zone for diamonds. In addition, they said that steps to strengthen trade with the UAE and the growing market in Qatar were being considered.