Net polished diamond exports totalled $5.2 billion in the first nine months of 2005, almost 7 percent more than the nearly $4.9b. in polished diamonds exported during the same period of last year, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry said Thursday. The sustained growth in diamond exports indicates that Israeli polished diamonds are continuing to sell well internationally, particularly in the traditional destination markets, the ministry said. In September alone, polished diamond exports rose 24% above last year's figure, to $704 million from $567m. in September 2004 in which Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and the beginning of Succot fell while exports of raw diamond grew more than 67%, to $355m. from $212m. Net polished diamond imports to Israel grew 18%, to $354m. in September from $299m. last September. Exports of polished diamonds to the US grew 54% in September in comparison with a year before, while Hong Kong imported 21% more polished diamonds due primarily to large shipments made for the 2005 diamond show held there in September Belgium 7%, Switzerland 6% and China 2%. Imports of raw diamonds grew 7% since the beginning of the year, despite a slow start, the ministry said. In September, net raw diamond imports totalled $618m., nearly 39% more than the $445m. brought in last September.