India’s gold jewellery exports fell 6.8% for the period April-May (compared to the same period last year) to US$ 1.09 billion.
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) noted that the drop in gold exports was due to the global economic downturn.
Vasant Mehta, the Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council also noted that there was a 34% decline in the exports of cut and polished diamonds to $1.68 billion. Inports of rough diamond also fell 45% on year to $1.05 billion.
Overall the exports of gems and jewellery fell 26% on year to 2.93 billion from 3.96 billion.
Mr Mehta said, in addition to the global recession stiff competition from China is also affecting the jewelry industry in India.
On a positive note Mr Mehta noted that the demand from Middle East countries have picked up in June.
In Surat, the worlds largest diamond polishing hub, over 400,000 workers have lost their jobs from late 2008 to early 2009. Approximately 5- 10 % of those who lost their jobs were called back last month.
The GJEPC has requested the Federal Government to give export incentives and tax benefits which will help to recover the industry.
He also commended the Governments recent move to allow the Diamond Association of India and GJEPC to import gold directly for jewelry making instead of importing through government nominated banks.