Shipments into the hub increased 0.6% to $4.71 billion during the period ending September 30, according to Rapaport calculations based on year-to-date figures from the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China. By volume, imports declined 3.4% to 5 million carats, while the average price jumped 4.2% to $934 per carat.
Hong Kong’s polished imports are somewhat an indicator of Greater China demand, as Hong Kong is both a consumer market and a key trading hub for onward exports to China.
Hong Kong’s polished exports rose 2.2% to $3.59 billion for the quarter, meaning net polished imports — calculated as imports minus exports — dropped 4% to $1.12 billion.
Rough imports rose 28% to $376.7 million, with rough exports up 26% to $552.8 million, the data showed. Net rough imports stood at negative $176.1 million, compared with negative $75.8 million a year ago, as outbound shipments exceeded inbound trade.
Hong Kong’s net diamond account, reflecting total rough and polished imports minus total exports, dropped 8% to $948.7 million.
Polished imports to Hong Kong grew 7% to $14.07 billion in the first nine months of the year, with imports from India, the largest source, rising 16% to $6.77 billion.