Gems and Jewellery exports shrank by 34.72 per cent to $1,647.49 million this June, from $2,523.74 million in the same month in 2019. The rate of decline has come down from April and May, when the fall was much sharper. According to preliminary data by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), overall gross exports were lower by 54.79 per cent to $2.75 billion during the April-June perrid.
Rough diamonds imports, however, fell by as sharp 82 per cent in the June quarter, helping reduce polished diamonds inventories for exports.
The jewellery sector has been worst hit due to the pandemic and the consequent lockdown in India and globally. Unrest in Hong Kong has only worsened the situation. Cut and polished diamonds and gold jewellery were major contributors to the export basket in June.
GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah said that compared to April and May, the industry has seen some improvement in exports following the partial opening up of the lockdown.
“However, we need to take measures and bring in reforms that would strengthen the ease of doing business in the industry, and at the same time make the industry self-reliant,” he added. “In our meetings with the government we have been assured that it will look into the issues and address the concerns through periodical reviews.”
Cut and polished exports in June were lower by 46.91 per cent to $898.32 million in the month of June, while for June quarter, the decline was 49.68 per cent to $1,801.71 million.
Gold jewellery exports in June were down 40.72 per cent to $237.05 million and by 79 per cent to $1,536.57 million for the whole quarter.
Interestingly, overall gross imports of Gems and Jewellery between April and June declined 74.81 per cent to $915.14 million from $3,632.87 million in the same quarter of 2019. Overall gross rough diamond imports in the April-June period this year were down 82.70 per cent to $481.65 million from $2,784.13 million a year ago.
This has helped clear previous inventories with processors. In June, there was a self-imposed ban on rough diamond imports in India which also helped pare inventories. However, the voluntary lockdown by Surat diamond processors following a sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases and workers going back to native will impact processing in July.