ArmInfo. In the first half of 2016 Armenia significantly increased export of diamonds-2.3 fold versus 70% decline in 2015 and 21% in 2014. Positive dynamics was also registered in import of product the amount of supply in qualitative terms increased 2-fold (versus 57% decline in 2015 and 15% decline in 2014).
According to the data of the Customs Service of Armenia, during 6 months of 2016 Armenia exported 69.5 thousand carats of diamonds, the customs cost of which increased by 51.5% y-o-y to $45 mln. Main export goes to India, Israel, Belarus, Thailand, Hong-Kong, Lebanon, Latvia and Russia.
Meanwhile, during the reported period 160.2 thousand carats of rough diamonds, total cost of which is 59 million dollars were imported to Armenia (65.7% y-o-y growth). Rough diamonds are imported to Armenia mainly from Thailand, the USA, Lebanon, Israel, UAE, Canada, and Russia.
To note for comparison that in H1 2015 Armenia exported 30 thousand carats with total cost of 30 mln dollars and imported 80.5 thousand carats with total cost of 35.6 mln dollars. Armenia does not have diamond fields, so it imports rough diamonds for their further polishing and export primarily to the same countries, from which it imports the initial product. Traditionally import of rough diamonds exceeds the export; the Ministry of Economy explains this by re- export to the third countries. After Armenia had joined Eurasian Economic Union re-export of rough diamonds was forbidden.
To note, once very developed diamond-cutting industry in Armenia underwent serious crisis in mid 2000s because of strengthening of the national currency. That time Armenian government in the person of the Economy Minster Nerses Yeritsyan officially announced that it is not interested in supporting the development of the industry, which is based on customer-furnished raw materials. A number of both large and small diamond-cutting companies were closed following this decision. Nowadays, efforts are made to reanimate some enterprises, including the diamond-cutting industry in the "Shoghakn" factory. A corresponding agreement was signed with Russia, however, as the specialists close to the industry informed Arminfo, there are almost no highly professional diamond-cutters left in Armenia, most of them in search of job moved aboard long ago.