|India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has released the Financial Year April 2015-March 2016 (FY2016) import and export data for gems and jewelry, reporting a significant decline almost across the board.
Gem and jewelry exports, which accounted for 14.78 percent of India's total exports in FY2016, totalled US$38.6 billion for the period, says GJEPC, down 3.45 percent compared with FY2015, the fifth consecutive drop in the past five years.
The GJEPC reports that gross exports of cut and polished diamonds in FY2016 dropped 13.66 percent to US$19.996 billion (provisional same ports figures and data) as compared to US$23,160.18 million in FY2015.
Exports of gold jewelry in FY2016 dropped 13.07 percent to US$8.6 billion year-over-year. Colored gemstone exports were also down, totalling US$433.18 million, a 4.43 percent decline compared with FY2015.
An increase of nearly 50 percent was reported for FY2016 in other export categories such as pearls, synthetic stones, costume and fashion jewelry, etc.
Net import of rough diamonds dropped 16.17 percent in FY2016 to US$14.05 billion as compared to FY2015, while net imports of cut and polished diamonds dropped 58.26 percent to US$2.77 billion.
Commenting on the results, GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya noted that weak international demand and high rough diamond prices have led to the absence of profitability in the diamond sector. "Rough prices are edging upwards, the sluggish global demand has created inventory pile up. Increased financial cost or inventory carrying cost has become unbearable. Interest subvention is the need of the hour!" says Pandya.
"However, export to the US is showing an upward trend but the only deterrent is the DUTY in the Region. Inclusion of gems and jewellery business in merchandise exports from India Scheme (MEIS) will bring respite and boost trade to the Region," Pandya added. India's most important export destination in FY2016 was the United Arab Emirates, which accounted for 32 percent of gross exports (compared with 29 percent in FY2015), followed by Hong Kong, with 28 percent (down from 31 percent in FY2015), and the United States, with 22 percent (up from 21 percent in FY2015).