Japan's Polished Diamond Imports Start to Cool
March 07, 12
(IDEX Online News) – Japan imported $72.3 million worth of polished diamonds in January, starting the year with a decline compared to January and signaling the end of a nine-month long rise in diamond demand.
Since the triple disaster that hit Japan in March 2011, diamond imports registered regular double-digit year-over-year increases. The trend started to weaken in November, when imports increased by 7.3 percent. However in December, imports surged ahead again during the height of the holiday season.
The January figures are practically flat, softening 0.2 percent year-over-year, based on figures released by Momozawa & Co., Inc.
Backing the concern that the Bull Run is over, the volume of imports fell 23.6 percent to 186,001 carats.
Imports in January are typically larger than in December, as inventory replenishments start. January 2012 was no different, however this year, the month-over-month increase was a small 8.7 percent. In past years, the increase usually was 40 percent or larger.
The average value of imports increased 30.7 percent to $388.47 p/c.
India is Japan's leading loose polished diamond supplier, source of 140,618 carats worth $41.8 million in January.