The country’s gems and jewellery exports contracted by 0.75 per cent to US$13.18 billion in April-August this fiscal as demand slowed down in major developed markets.
According to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) data, exports stood at US$ 13.28 billion in April-August period of 2017-18. The labour-intensive sector contributes about 14 per cent to the country’s overall export. The decline in shipments is mainly due to steep contraction in the export of silver jewellery, gold medallions and coins, along with a rise in the return of consignments.
According to industry experts, exporters are optimistic that with the festive season on the anvil, things would start improving. As per the data, silver jewellery shipments during April-August 2018 dipped by 88 per cent to US$239 million. Similarly, export of gold medallions and coins contracted by 87.2 per cent during the period under review. Shipments of rough diamonds too reported a negative growth of 5 per cent. But, exports of cut and polished diamonds grew by 11.5 per cent to US$10.31 billion in the first five months of the fiscal. Gold jewellery shipments almost doubled to US$5.11 billion during the period from US$2.70 billion in April-August last fiscal. India’s main export destinations are the U.S., Europe, Japan and China. America accounts for about one-fourth of the country’s total gems and jewellery exports. During the period, consignments worth US$3.5 billion were returned compared with USD 3 billion in April-August 2017. China is the biggest competitor of India in the sector. Imports of gems and jewellery too dipped by 4.27 per cent in April-August 2018 to about US$12 billion. Imports of rough diamonds contracted by about 7 per cent, while that of gold bar jumped to US$3.7 billion during the period as against US$1.3 billion in April-August 2017.