Industrial exports in the first quarter of 2006 rose by 4.5 percent to $8.6 billion, according to figures released Sunday by the Manufacturers' Association of Israel. The increase means that for the entire year, the rise in exports is expected to be in the region of $26.8b., up 6.5% over 2005. However, this is well below the potential increase of 15% to 20% that the Manufacturers' Association claims is possible. Excluding diamonds, exports to the US increased by 11% during the quarter and exports to Asia were up 8%. There was a decrease of 1% in exports to Europe and the rest of the world.