Israel Posts Sharp Drop in Polished Diamond Exports in First Half of 2016

Israel reported a strong decline in polished diamond exports for the first half of 2016 - dropping 14 percent on the year to $2.61 billion - according to official figures.

Exports to Israel’s largest market, the U.S., fell 15 percent, and to its second-biggest market, Hong Kong, by 26 percent. Dealers said trading has been very difficult this year with worldwide demand declining and Israel struggling to keep its place in the market.

Polished imports declined by 10 percent to $1.62 billion.

Israel's rough imports came to $1.63 billion, about the same as the year-earlier figures, while exports rose slightly, by 2 percent to $1.39 billion.