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India’s Shipments Drop Sharply in March

Polished exports and rough imports slide as pandemic hits demand.
May 25, 2020 10:52 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... India’s diamond shipments declined heavily in March as the coronavirus crisis hit the US market. Polished exports slumped 48% to $960 million, while rough imports fell 65% to $293 million as Indian manufacturers demonstrated less demand. The country’s total rough and polished trade fell 48% to $1.57 billion — the lowest monthly total since Rapaport records began in 2009.

Exports of polished lab-grown diamonds fell 19% to $20.2 million — the first year-on-year decline since the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council started releasing data for the category in June 2019.

All the year-on-year figures are on a “same ports” basis, meaning the comparative amounts for March 2019 exclude shipments at ports for which numbers were unavailable in March 2020.

India Trade Data for March 2020
  Mar 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $960M -48%
Polished imports $239M 119%
Net polished exports $721M -59%
Rough imports $293M -65%
Rough exports $73M -63%
Net rough imports $220M -65%
Net diamond account $502M -55%
     
Polished exports: volume 1.4 million carats -40%
Average price of polished exports $674/carat -14%
     
  Jan-Mar 2020 Year-on-year change
     
Polished exports $3.99B -33%
Polished imports $649M 125%
Net polished exports $3.34B -41%
Rough imports $2.52B -18%
Rough exports $224M -47%
Net rough imports $2.3B -13%
Net diamond account $1.05M -65%
     
Polished exports: volume 5.6 million carats -25%
Average price of polished exports $717/carat -11%


Source: Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council; Rapaport archives


About the data: India, the world’s largest diamond-cutting center, is a net importer of rough and a net exporter of polished. As such, net polished exports — representing polished exports minus polished imports — will usually be a positive number. Net rough imports — calculated as rough imports minus rough exports — will also generally be in surplus. The net diamond account is total rough and polished exports minus total imports. It is India’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by manufacturing rough into polished.

Image: The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. (Rapaport News)
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Tags: India, net diamond account, net polished exports, Net rough imports, polished exports, polished imports, Rapaport News, rough exports, rough imports
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