28 Jan 2020
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How Can India Get Back Up?
Why has India’s exports hit an all time low?
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jan 8 2020 4:36PM
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Reference: 24682  

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Ankit Shah, Ankit Gems
Ankit Shah, Ankit Gems
With the ongoing US China Trade war, the stage was set for India to take advantage of the situation and increase its export revenues. However, official statistics tell a different story. Shrinking demand, global political unrests and a volatile economic climate has put the Indian diamond industry in a difficult spot. Sanjana Parikh speaks to some of the leading diamond and jewellery exporters in the country to decode the reasons behind the fall in export numbers

Diamond jewellery is an inherent part of cultures the world over. Not merely monetary investments but they are also considered emotional investments. India currently cuts and polishes 3 out of 4 diamonds. 92 per cent of diamonds are exported from India. But if one scans through the official export growth figures of polished diamonds one will find a consistent drop in statistics. During October, cut and polished diamond exports declined by 15.39 per cent year-on-year totalling US$ 1.95 billion during the month (October 2018: US$ 2.30 bn).

Rough imports during the month fell by 19.61 per cent to US$ 795.92 million as compared to US$ 990.09 million imported during the previous October. In volume terms, rough imports moved up marginally by 2.48 per cent from 9.66 mn carats during October 2018 to 9.90 mn carats in October 2019.

Imports of cut and polished diamonds rose to US$ 165.13 mn in October 2019 from US$ 92.11 mn in the same month a year earlier.

Exports of rough diamonds totalled US$ 98.48 million in October 2019 as compared to US$ 133.02 mn a year earlier.
A once booming industry complete with cutting and polishing of diamonds, today presents a very different picture. A series of modifications have altered the industry as we know it.

Professional corporate structures have helped streamline the previously unorganized family owned businesses. The digital revolution has not spared the diamond industry either. Goods can now be listed online and can be accessed from any location in the world at any time. Round the clock assistance from marketing executives ensures instant sales and complete support should there be any glitches. A dedicated diamond bourse in the heart of Mumbai along with the emergence of Surat as one of the largest diamond cutting and polishing hubs in the world - it looked like great success was in store for the prosperous Indian diamond industry.

Another golden opportunity that fell into the lap of the industry was the declaration of US China Trade war in 2018. As the two largest economies in the world battle against each other for tariffs, India was poised to take advantage of the situation by making significant windfall gains. The diamond sector however, has a huge export deficit of polished diamonds of over Rs 20000 from the month of April to November 2019. The US-China trade war has benefited the gem and jewellery exports in Thailand in the past seven months even as India, which cuts and polishes 14 out of 15 diamonds consumed globally, has not been able to enhance its share of overseas shipments.

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