Gold necklaces are displayed on a counter as employees serve customers at a jewellery store in Pune. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Gems, Jewellery Exports Decline By About 5% In April-July

The country’s gems and jewellery exports contracted by around 5 percent to $10.64 billion in April-July this fiscal, on account of demand slowdown in major developed markets.

According to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council data, exports stood at $11.2 billion in April-July period of 2017-18. The labour-intensive sector contributes about 14 percent to the country’s overall export.

The decline in shipments is mainly due to negative growth in the export of silver jewellery, gold medallions and coins, along with a rise in the return of consignments.

Industry experts said the dip in exports during the period is because of slow growth in demand but the order books are gradually improving.

“Exporters are optimistic that things will start improving from September as there will be good demand during Diwali, Christmas and from from non-resident Indians during Thanksgiving in the U.S.,” an official in the council said.

As per the data, silver jewellery shipments during April-July 2018 dipped by 91 percent to $172 million.

Similarly, export of gold medallions and coins contracted by 87.2 percent during the period under review. Shipments of rough diamonds too reported a negative growth of 11.7 percent.

But exports of cut and polished diamonds grew by 9.5 percent to $8.2 billion in the first four months of the fiscal. Gold jewellery shipments doubled to $4.3 billion during the period from $2.1 billion in April-July last fiscal.

India’s main export destinations are the U.S., Europe, Japan and China. America accounts for about one-fourth of the country's total gems and jewellery exports.

During the period, consignments worth $2.8 billion were returned compared with $2.6 billion in April-July 2017. China is India’s biggest competitor in the sector.

Imports of gems and jewellery, too, dipped by 3.78 percent in April-July 2018 to $10.4 billion.

Also read: Rising Gold Prices Keep India’s Jewellery Buyers At Bay