Israeli diamond exports up sharply in early 2010 – IDI
By Tom Wildhern
BASEL, March 19, 2010 – Israeli polished diamond exports were sharply higher in the first two months of 2010 compared with the same year-ago period, underscoring an improving outlook for the diamond sector after a period of crisis.
“Signs of recovery are currently being noted,” Eli Avidar, Managing Director of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), said in an address to the Baselworld press lunch.
“Israel’s polished diamond exports in January and February of 2010 totalled $995.3 million, a 60.7 percent increase compared to 2009, when they stood at $618.9 million,” he added.
“At Hong Kong March Israel had the largest national pavilion and the number of Israeli exhibitors stood at 80. Israeli diamantaires returning from Hong Kong said that the volume of business was satisfactory, the best that could be expected during these days.”
Avidar said the Israeli industry needed to act responsibly to move forward after the dark days of 2009.
“2009 was undisputedly a tough year for the world diamond industry,” he said.
“Israel’s polished diamond exports in 2009 were down 37 percent over 2008, totalling $3.922 billion in 2009, compared to $6.238 billion in 2008.”
The Israeli industry will now looking increasingly to boost export opportunities to the fast-growing Chinese and Indian diamond markets, Avidar said.
“I want to say that we started to ”speak, sing and dance” Chinese in January 2007, and without any doubt it was an amazing investment,” he said.
“But it is not only about selling in China, it is about generic advertising in China in order to educate the market to consume more diamonds.”
Avidar also said second-tier urban areas in India represented a superb opportunity for the diamond business.
“India as a consuming market is positioning itself as one of the fastest growing markets in the world,” he said.
Avidar said the Israeli industry needed to act responsibly in manufacturing, marketing, customer service and credit.
“The leadership and the players in the world diamond industry must conduct a responsible policy in order to maintain a healthy diamond industry that will expand on the basis of a firm foundation,” he said.
Baselworld 2010, a leading watches and jewellery trade fair, runs from March 18 to 25.