Gem and jewellery exports were down 11 per cent last month to $2.07 billion (₹17,307 crore) against $2.34 billion (₹19,198.4 crore) in the same period last year, largely due to global economic uncertainties and geo-political concerns.

However, import of gem and jewellery was up four per cent at $1.89 billion ($1.82 billion), according to the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Amid weak demand, cut and polished diamond exports declined 17 per cent to $1.15 billion ($1.39 billion). However, import of cut and polished diamond increased 19 per cent to $88 million ($74 million) raising concern of the industry that ranks top most in the cut and polish of rough diamonds.

Sentiments dull

Rough diamond imports slipped 19 per cent to $1.19 billion ($1.47 billion) as diamond traders and jewellers reel under inventory pile-up despite a voluntary moratorium of three months on rough diamond imports adopted by the industry late last year.

The sentiment remains dull on the global front as the geopolitical tension continue to prevail and impact the purchasing power of end-buyers of diamond jewellery, it said.

Colin Shah, MD, Kama Jewelry, said the industry has been sailing though rough waters for more than a year due to strong headwinds from multiple economic influences at a global level.

Along with this, the election season in over 60 countries this year is a major factor adding to the impact. With the hope of truce between countries at war, the industry looks forward for the exports to pick up in the upcoming festive season, he said.

Trying to retain market share

Polished lab grown diamonds export was down 18 per cent at $84 million ($102 million) due to intense competition from competing countries such as the US, China and Singapore which are ramping up investment in the lab grown diamond industry.

However, armed with cheap labour cost India is attempting to retain its market share through enhance production capabilities and latest technology. The industry expects the well-established trade relations and supportive government policies will play a role in boosting exports in the long run.

Gold jewellery export was up 11 per cent at $718 million ($647 million) due to robust demand driven by a separate buyer segment which invests in wearable jewellery as an asset class and cushion against inflation and economic uncertainty.

Coloured gemstones shipments declined 35 per cent to $25 million ($38 million).