Polished diamond imports through the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) doubled last year, registering a 105 per cent year-on-year surge over 2020.
Total net polished imports reached US$2.924 billion in 2021, a 58 per cent increase over 2019.
The SDE is the only portal in China to import polished diamonds under a favourable tax policy of zero tariff and a 4 per cent Value Added Tax. The figure thus reflects the value of polished diamonds imported for consumption in China.
"The historic growth in diamond imports in 2021 proves that the economic fundamentals and underlying factors supporting the long-term development of China's diamond market remain unchanged, and indicates that China's diamond imports shall sustain waves of growth for a long time to come," said Lin Qiang, vice chairman of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and president of SDE.
Data from the Gems and Jewelry Trade Association of China (GAC) shows that China's diamond jewellery retail market reached approximately US$12.4 billion in 2021, accounting for 13 per cent of the country’s jewellery retail sales.
In addition, China’s Gross Domestic Product recorded an 8.1 per cent year-on-year growth, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. Meanwhile, annual retail sales of gold, silver and jewellery products for a key sample of jewellers rose 29.8 per cent year on year in 2021. The category topped consumer retail market segments.