The net value of polished exported diamonds from Israel in the first half of 2012 was $3.264 billion, compared to $4.026 billion in the same period last year, a drop of 18.9 percent, according to Shmuel Mordechai, the diamond supervisor at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Labor. The net value of uncut-diamond exports dropped almost a third, from $2.264 billion to $1.516 billion. The value of imported rough diamonds went down 19.3 percent while the value of imported polished diamonds decreased 21.7 percent.
Mordechai attributed the declines to the world economy in general and an internal crisis in the diamond industry, as witnessed at shows in the United States and Hong Kong. The U.S. remained the largest market with a 47 percent share, so far this year, followed by Hong Kong at 29 percent.