|The trading floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange|
Israel’s net polished diamond exports in July rose 57.4% over the same month last year, and 39.4% over June, amounting to $713.8 million. This brings Israel’s total net polished exports for the first seven months of the year to $4.77 billion.
Israel’s net rough diamond exports in July rose 44.7% over last year to $351.3 million. From January to July 2011 Israel imported $2.62 billion worth of rough diamonds. These figures were published by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
Trading activity in Ramat Gan remained slow in August as the bourse was closed for its summer break from August 2 – August 22. However there was a general positive outlook for the post-vacation period. When the exchange reopened trading continued to be soft, with some uncertainty as to the direction of rough and polished prices. Most traders hoped that rough and polished prices would stabilize ahead of the Hong Kong show in September. There seemed to be more willingness to compromise on price, and both polished and rough were offered with discounts.
The Israeli Diamond Industry geared up for the September show with great expectations, emphasizing the importance the industry attributes to the growth potential of Asian markets. This year there has been a huge jump in the number of Israeli companies exhibiting in the Hong Kong show, which will be held from September 19 – 23. IDI’s Israel Diamond Pavilion will actually have two locations and will feature 105 companies, compared to 71 last year. In addition, about 20 Israeli companies will exhibit in various locations throughout the show.
New Israel Diamond Exchange President Yair Sahar said during the month that the excessive use of rough diamond tenders was causing exaggerated price swings, and was damaging the producers as well as the manufacturers. He also addressed the issue of liquidity, which he said is the greatest challenge facing the industry at the moment. Sahar noted that there is a softening of prices due to a drop in premiums on the secondary market, which is being fueled by the apparent lack of liquidity to buy rough. However, Sahar said that he was confident that the market would stabilize, and that demand in advance of Diwali, Christmas and the Chinese New Year would be positive.
IsDMA and IDMA President and IDI Chairman Moti Ganz also spoke out against the widespread use of tenders, in an article in Yahalom Magazine that was reprinted on the IDI portal. “”…when the tender becomes the central marketing channel, increasingly pushing regular supply to the margins, it’s time to put a foot on the brakes – and the sooner the better.”
Ganz also said that the major victims of the tenders are the manufacturers and retailers, but also the rough producers themselves, who will lose the loyalty of their buyers. “I strongly advise the large mining organizations,” he said, “…if you want to have a sustainable diamond mining business, you don’t belong in the world of tenders, but in that of direct supply to diamond factories.”