Jewellery business stares at prolonged slowdown, exports down by 9.17%

The festive cheer for the gems and jewellery sector has come to an end in January with exports declining 9.17 per cent to $29.6 billion. Exports in the first 10 months of this fiscal year fell 5.68 per cent to $30.66 billion. 

With the coronavirus outbreak, prospects for the sector look dim with a key event to promote gems and jewellery in Hong Kong being postponed.

While cut and polished diamond exports continued their downward journey, one of the best performing segments – gold jewellery exports – also fell in January by 2.96 per cent to $889.10 million. It increased in the first 10 months of the fiscal by 4.17 per cent to $10.21 billion. 

Cut and polished diamond exports fell 5.67 per cent in January 2020 to $1.65 billion. In the first 10 months of this fiscal year, it was down 16.8 per cent to $16.32 billion.

Import of rough diamonds in the first 10 months also declined 15.54 per cent to $10.92 billion. Colin Shah, vice-chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said, “The export industry’s downward trend continues. We hope that the policy respite we expect in customs duty happens. We also expect that an e-commerce policy, comprehensive gold policy and amendments to the special economic zone (SEZ) Act are considered as it will make the industry globally competitive.”

The GJEPC has asked the government to relax norms for SEZs that have a huge potential to attract jewellery companies in China to India. 

Earlier, the slowdown was due to the US-China trade war and now it’s due to the virus. The council has also requested duty relaxation in rough diamonds.

Silver jewellery exports during April 2019-January 2020 went up 78.14 per cent to $1.22 billion and coloured gemstone exports in the same period was down 9.53 per cent to $289.90 million.

The scene for coloured gemstones may get worse with the Budget proposal increasing import duty. The council has requested the finance ministry to reconsider this proposal.

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted Hong Kong to postpone the exports show from March to May. This was one of the significant events to promote exports. Many exporters are facing the issue of getting back receivables due to the Hong Kong protests. Now, China’s health epidemic has further added to their woes. Besides the Centre, the industry has also sought several concessions from the Reserve Bank of India. 

LOSING SHEEN 

  • Exports in the gems and jewellery sector declined 9.17 per cent to $29.6 billion
  • Exports in the first 10 months of this fiscal year fell 5.68 per cent, to $30.66 billion
  • Key event to promote gems and jewellery in Hong Kong being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak
  • Many exporters are facing the issue of getting back receivables on account of the protests in Hong Kong 
  • Gold jewellery exports fell by 2.96 per cent  in January



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