According to a press release by the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), which looked at the results for the first quarter of 2021rough diamond exports, rough diamond imports, polished diamond imports and polished diamond exports all showed “a significant increase in the volume of activity”.
According to the report, net exports of polished diamonds totaled $827.6 million, 11.5 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Net exports of rough diamonds increased by 66.3 percent over the first quarter of last year, totaling $389.8 million.
The Israel Diamond Exchange reported that imports of rough diamonds to Israel during the first quarter totaled $476 million, up 75.6 percent over the corresponding period in 2020, which was before the pandemic was felt in Israel. Net imports of polished diamonds increased by 60.9 percent, totaling $646.6 million.
“In the past year, we have worked hard to stabilize the industry, to preserve the trade and sustain our members, said IDE President Boaz Moldawsky. “Despite the pandemic we have been able to strengthen our trade ties around the world and even form new ties, within the framework of the peace agreements, with markets such as Dubai, which has helped us expand our activity. The current data show that the industry is on the right path and we expect the trend to continue during the next quarter as well”.
COVID RAGES IN INDIA, BUT EXPORTS UP
Israel’s aggressive vaccination project has yielded spectacular results, with the fewer than 400 active cases in the entire country at the end of May, down from many tens of thousands just several months earlier. The situation is vastly different in India, where COVID continues to take a terrible toll. But when it comes to diamond exports, the market recovery in the west is also evident.
According to India’s country’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), polished-diamond exports stood at $2.25 billion in April, up from a paltry $35 million at the start of the COVID pandemic one year earlier. This total was also 37 percent higher than in April 2019 of 2019.
During the first four months of 2021 polished diamond exports from India equaled $7.96 billion, up 97 percent from the same period in 2020. Polished diamond imports totaled $896 million, 37 percent more than during the first four months of 2020.
According to the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), net exports of polished diamonds were up 11.5 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Net exports of rough diamonds increased by 66.3 percent over the first quarter of last year.
With more businesses reopening and bringing employees back to work, the U.S. economy could see its fastest growth in more than three decades, says the National Retail Federation.
U.S. ECONOMY EXPERIENCING RAPID GROWTH
With more businesses reopening and bringing employees back to work, the U.S. economy could see its fastest growth in more than three decades, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
“While there is a great deal of uncertainty about how fast and far this economy will grow in 2021, surveys show an increase in individuals being vaccinated, more willingness to receive a vaccination, increased spending intentions and comfort with resuming pre-pandemic behaviors like shopping, travel and family gatherings,” Kleinhenz said. “This feel-better situation will likely translate into higher levels of household spending, especially around upcoming holidays like the Fourth of July and spending associated with back-to-work and back-to-school.”
Kleinhenz’s remarks came in the May issue of NRF’s Monthly Economic Review, which said NRF expects the economy to grow 6.6 percent this year, the highest level since 7.2 percent in 1984.
A report by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other data show unemployment benefits, government stimulus checks and tax refunds have provided a substantial increase in personal income and purchasing power. Consumers are “sitting on a stockpile of cash” that could become “a spring-loaded spending mechanism,” Kleinhenz said.