Triggered by a sharp increase in the shipment of cut and polished diamonds, India’s overall gems and jewellery exports to the United States witnessed 7.81 per cent growth in October – December quarter due to an increase in consumerism on a revival in the country’s economy.
Data compiled by the apex industry body -the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) -showed India’s overall shipment of the previous stones and ornaments to the United States jumped to $2,529.62 million in the fourth quarter of the calendar 2016 compared to $2,346.21 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
The trend indicates a revival in the overall economic activity in the United States, which constitutes over 40 per cent of the world’s precious ornaments. The growth pattern in United States consumerism also replicates on the manufacturing activity in India being the largest hub for global diamond processing in the world.
The growth in consumer demand also affects global diamond mining with majors like De Beers, Rio Tinto, Alrosa and others faced huge pressure on their economic performance in the last few years due to a sharp fall in demand from the US markets.
“Although the growth is seasonal, it indicates a revival in the US economy which is a good sign for global diamond jewellery sector. The growth in US sales has been throughout the year albeit marginally. But October – December period was the best of all four quarters of calendar 2016,” said Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman, GJEPC.
The October – December quarter holds special significance for India’s diamond jewellery sector. Starting with the Thanksgiving ceremony, the 45-day period of celebrations ends with the New Year. During this period, the US consumes nearly 40-45 per cent of jewellery sales annually. Hence, not only Indians but also International News in India diamond jewellery manufacturers across the world wait for this occasion throughout the year to supply innovative and unique jewellery sets for US consumers.
“Sustaining this growth rate in future, however, would depend upon policy decisions by the US President – elect Donald Trump. His policy decisions to support manufacturing sector in the US would help protect shifting of diamond cutting and polishing industry from the US to Mexico and other countries. While many such units have already been set up elsewhere which would continue their production for supply to other countries, manufacturing units in the US would flourish to meet local demand. India would reap advantage in case US manufacturing sector flourishes,” said Pravin Nanavati, secretary, Surat Heera Bourse.
In the overall exports, the share of cut and polished diamond has increased this year. During the last year’s October – December quarter, the share of cut and polished diamond stood at 59 per cent worth 1,384.48 million which shot up to over 72 per cent valued $2,529.62 million in the same quarter this year.
Diamond export from India slows down after completing orders for pre-Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year season.