Gold jewellery outperforms India's overall exports in April-July period

Gold jewellery has outperformed the broad trend in India’s gems and jewellery (G&J) exports between April and July this year due to a sharp increase in shipment from Cochin special economic zone (SEZ).

Data compiled by the apex industry body - Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) under the Ministry of Commerce showed India’s overall net G&J exports remained flat at worth $10.638 billion between April – July 2018 compared to $11.126 billion in the corresponding period last year. Overall gold jewellery exports, however, have more than doubled to $4.28 billion) for the four-month period ending July this year from $2.095 billion the same period last year.

Interestingly, special economic zones (SEZs) or export processing zones (EPZs) led by Cochin have recorded a staggering 221 per cent surge in gold jewellery exports to Rs 230.13 billion ($3407.89 million) from Rs 71.76 billion ($1113.20 million) in the same period last year.

“The growth in gold jewellery exports from India can be attributed to just one port (pointing to Cochin) and select companies in the region. If we take out Cochin port figure, exports will show a normal trend,” said Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC.

While bifurcated figure of G&J exports from Cochin port was not available, overall shipment from this south-India based port recorded a phenomenal 92 per cent growth to Rs 496.20 billion for the period between April and July 2018 from Rs 257.94 billion for the corresponding period last year. Exports from Cochin port, therefore, outperformed overall shipment from SEZs / EPCs, which witnessed 30 per cent growth during the period under consideration. Overall merchandise exports from Cochin port jumped by nine-fold to Rs 201.77 billion for April – July 2018 period from Rs 22.45 billion in the same period last year.

Zone-wise performance has been the best at Cochin. Despite irritants, the performance of SEZs has been encouraging. The newly set up committee under the chairmanship of Baba Kalyani, Chairman of Bharat Forge, has kindled hope for the industries that better days ahead,” said Vinay Sharma, Officiating Chairman of the Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs.

Meanwhile, the suspension in exports of gold coins and medallion from India earlier seems to have benefitted jewellery exports. Experts, however, believe that jewellers now attach a hook to gold coins and medallions to categorize the same under jewellery and evade the eyes of customs authorities.

One of South India’s largest exporters, Rajesh Exports, has posted 26 per cent jump in its revenue at Rs 126.35 billion for the quarter ended June 2018 from Rs 100.23 billion for the corresponding period last year.

“We are exporting jewellery to the entire world. Apart from us, there are a number of other companies that have been exporting ornaments through Cochin port. In the recent past, we have seen a sharp increase in global demand of mid-end and low-end jewellery, which has translated into an increase in its export from India. Exports contribute nearly 88 per cent of our annual revenue,” said Rajesh Mehta, Managing Director, Rajesh Exports.

Colin Shah, Vice Chairman of GJEPC estimates a recovery in India’s G&J exports for the financial year 2018-19 after nearly 5 per cent dip in the previous year. Betting big on depreciating rupee, exporters anticipate improvement in overall profitability this year.

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