In the wake of poor demand ahead of the Christmas season internationally, the Gujarat diamond industry players apprehend worsening conditions. Industry players in Surat, considered the main hub of diamond polishing, said customers usually start purchasing, for Christmas, from July. However, absence of buying indicates a tough time ahead for diamond industry in Surat. Surat diamond association president Muljibhai Dhameria said, �After 15 bullish years, the industry has witnessed sluggishness in the market, which also made its impact graver�.
The overall international market decline in demand coupled with absence of buying ahead of Christmas forced 20-25% units in Surat to shut shop and those units catering to local market needs are finding it difficult to continue operations. Appreciation in the rupee value has also made Indian products dearer to importers in overseas market, has added to the local unit�s woes.
Pravin Nanavati, joint secretary, Gujarat Hire Bourse said, �There are 10,000 diamond polishing and cutting units, of which 20% have ceased functioning and those currently functional are operating at lower capacity. Giving information about the decline in turnover, Nanavati said Surat diamond industry�s total daily turnover is Rs 100 crore to Rs 125 crore, which has dipped 15 to 20%. Moreover, Surat diamond polishing units import rough diamonds to export them after polishing. But smaller units are not able to import rough diamonds directly.