Gold & Silver

Gems, jewellery exports up 62% in March quarter

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 19, 2011

Gleaming show: (From left) The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council executive council member, Mr Nirmal Barmecha; the council executive director, Mr Sabyasachi Ray; its Chairman, Mr Rajiv Jain; its Vice-Chairman, Mr SanjayKothari; and Convenor of the diamand panel, Mr Bakul Mehta, at a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday

Boosted by sharp rise in gold, silver and diamond prices

Gem and jewellery exports rose 62 per cent to $6.13 billion ($3.78 billion) in the quarter ended March, largely due to sharp increase in gold, silver and diamond prices. In rupee term, the exports are up 60 per cent to Rs 27,574 crore (Rs 17,222 crore).

The industry has contributed 17 per cent to the country's total merchandise exports, according to the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Cut and polished diamond exports were higher by 59 per cent at $3.96 billion (Rs 17,809 crore) in the March quarter against $2.49 billion (Rs 11,354 crore). Gold jewellery exports grew 55 per cent to $1.33 billion ($860 million).

Export of gold medallions and coins more than doubled to $534 million ($242 million).

Full-year growth

The gem and jewellery exports in the financial year ended March was up 47 per cent at $43 billion ($29 billion).

The growth was primarily driven by cut and polished diamonds which registered an increase of 55 per cent at $28 billion ($18 billion). However, quantity-wise, cut and polish diamond exports were up 10 per cent at 6,60,370 lakh carats (559,050 lakh carats) in 2010-11.

Cut and polished diamonds accounted for 65 per cent of the total exports in the fiscal, while gold jewellery contributed 30 per cent and colour gemstones and others added up to 5 per cent.

Mr Rajiv Jain, Chairman, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said that the growth of 47 per cent recorded by the industry is the highest in last three years. “Besides the spike in metal prices, the supply in the pipeline has almost dried up after the economic turbulence in 2009-10. Coming out of the recession, market players had placed huge orders to replenish their inventory. This boosted exports,” he said.

Gold prices increased from Rs 12,320 for 10 gm on April 1, 2010 to Rs 15,560 on April 1, 2011, a rise of 26 per cent. Similarly, diamond prices were up 20-24 per cent and silver has been setting new records on a daily basis, he said.

Export destinations

The UAE emerged as the largest destination for the country's exports accounting for 47 per cent of shipments, followed by Hong Kong and the US with 22 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively. At present, 95 per cent of world's diamonds are exported from here.

The gem and jewellery industry has to overcome the prevailing short supply of rough diamonds to achieve the export growth target of 15-20 per cent in the financial year 2011-12. Rough supply from the mines has been dwindling in the last three years. Production in 2008 was at 168 million carats, in 2009 it was 128 million carats and in 2010 it recovered to 132 million carats.

“We do not expect any supply from new mines in the near future. Moreover, most of the mines that are operational are close to the end of their life span. Given the situation, overcoming the short supply of diamonds is the biggest challenge,” said Mr Jain.

Published on April 19, 2011

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