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India's Fiscal-Year Gem and Jewelry Exports -1% to $40B

Polished Diamond Exports -6% to $23B
Apr 24, 2015 11:14 AM   By Zainab Morbiwala
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RAPAPORT... The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reported that India's overall gross exports of polished diamonds, colored gemstones and jewelry fell 0.6 percent year on year to $39.899 billion during the fiscal year, which began April 1, 2014 and ended on March 31, 2015. The value of exports in rupee improved slightly, or by 0.4 percent. Gross imports of gems and jewelry rose 1.3 percent year on year to $31.471 billion.

Specifically for diamonds during India's fiscal year, polished diamond exports fell 5.5 percent year on year to $23.16 billion, while polished diamond imports rose 6.2 percent to $6.943 billion. Rough imports were flat at $16.741 billion, while gross imports by weight fell 9 percent to 147.3 million carats. Rough exports fell 10.5 percent to $1.419 billion.

Speaking exclusively with Rapaport News, Vipul Shah, the chairman of the GJEPC, said, “As expected, and as I have been mentioning this throughout the year, exports have been very much flat, whereas the diamond segment has shown a negative growth of almost 10 percent. But having said that, the other segments have performed well. Looking ahead, we see the same trend continuing at least for the first quarter of this financial year. The diamond segment shall remain slow and this would be because of the global economic factors and less about demand, but at the same time, we expect good demand for gold jewelry, silver jewelry, colored stone jewelry and studded gold jewelry. Overall, we do not expect the gems and jewelry industry to be robust, as such, in the first quarter, but demand and sales should pick up in the second quarter onwards. We should see a single-digit growth for the entire year.”

In other product categories, gold jewelry exports jumped 17.7 percent to $9.852 billion during the fiscal year, while silver jewelry exports increased 39.3 percent to $2.055 billion. Trading in gold and silver jewelry is expected to remain strong this year, especially since the India International Jewelry Show 2015 (IIJS 2015) will launch several new initiatives that are expected to enhance trade with other nations that typically favor precious metal jewelry.

The GJEPC's ongoing efforts continue to promote India as the destination for not only cutting and polishing diamonds, but for manufacturing diamond jewelry as well. Some of the initiatives planned this year include IIJS, India International Jewellery Week (IIJW) and India Pavilions at numerous global exhibitions. The newest pavilions will be at the Beijing International Jewellery Fair 2015, the Vicenza Oro Dubai 2015 and the Smart Jewellery Show 2015 in Chicago.

Shah added, “In the last week of April, we shall be taking a delegation to Latin America, thus exploring the market there. As part of the visit, the delegation shall be going to Panama, Mexico and Brazil.”

In addition, the promotional efforts this year are meant to further increase exports to the U.S. market through "buyer, seller meets," ongoing dialog with key gems and jewelry players and value-addition in the form of design excellence and trend forecast seminars. Indian jewelry manufacturers have altogether provided a boost to the trade, helping India earn a healthy foreign-exchange despite the lull in the market.
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