The Secret Diamond Mine, RevisitedFebruary 16, 12
Once again, the
The issue was discussed here a couple of times in the past, however last week the final figures for 2011 were published by the International Trade Commission (ITC) at the Department of Commerce, giving a whole new perspective to the oddity of the figures.
The U.S., the country chairing the Kimberley Process this year, imported a little more than 0.7 million carats of rough diamonds in 2011 and exported nearly 1.1 million carats, nearly 0.4 million carats more than were imported.
We joked in the past about the secret diamond mine hiding in the
Where have all these goods come from? That is a mystery.
The figures don't agree with KP reports either. According to KP, the
The discrepancies are wide and deep. In value, KP and ITC are close enough to dismiss the differences (for example, the U.S. takes into account freight and insurance when looking at the value of an imported product, while most anywhere else the view is Free On Board – the value without added costs).
The same cannot be said for volume - unless there are special weight scales for exports that weigh differently than scales used for imports…
Globally, the average value of rough diamonds increased by about 24 percent in 2011. And though
Giving it the benefit of doubt, it can be argued that there is a shift in the way the
The problems continue. There are a number of international custom codes used in tracking imports and exports of any product imaginable. According to an international agreement born out of the Kimberley Process, all countries are to use the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes to track rough diamonds. The three relevant HTS codes (for gem quality, industrial quality and unsorted – meaning the two together) are actually printed on the KP certificates.
However, according to ITC, hardly any rough diamonds were imported into the
"The problem is that the
As we seek greater transparency, better oversight and a cleaner public image, it is time to take a closer look at the way