Israel is giving tough competition to India's Surat in diamond processing. according to half-yearly figures, Israeli diamond industry is showing clear-cut signs of recovery. In this period, exports and imports of polished and rough diamonds jumped by an average of 104% over the first half of 2009.

Net polished diamond exports totaled $3.002 billion from January to June 2010, compared to $1.566 billion in the same period of 2009, a rise of 91.7%. Net rough diamond exports stood at $1.624 billion, compared to $796 million for the first half of 2006, an increase of 104.1%

Net rough diamond imports totaled $1.817 billion in the first half of 2010, up 113.3% from the corresponding period in 2009, when they stood at $852 million. Net polished diamond imports were $1.882 billion, an increase of 105.2% over the same period last year when they totaled $916 million.

The Diamond Controller noted that the 2nd quarter of 2010 showed a significant improvement over the first quarter, when polished exports rose by 55% over 2009.

Moti Ganz, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), said that he was pleased with the recovery shown by the figures. We are not surprised by the statistics, since the Israeli Diamond Industry is experiencing a pronounced upturn in activity. We are confident that the Israeli industry will continue to grow. We look forward to a return to our previous levels of activity, he said.

Eli Avidar, IDI Managing Director, said that IDI was actively supporting the industry through marketing initiatives, trade shows and outreach to new and developing markets, such as China and India. We see a rise in interest and participation in our activities. We are continually seeking new opportunities to promote the growth of the Israeli Diamond Industry.

The United States was Israel's primary polished diamond market with 52% of exports. Hong Kong was second with 25%, followed by Belgium with 7%, Switzerland with 5% and India 2%. Net polished exports to the U.S. stood at $1.211 billion, to Hong Kong at $820 million, to Belgium at $260 million and to India at $113 million. Net polished exports to China rose dramatically to $93 million, compared to $33 million in the same period of 2009.