India's Diwali holiday season was not so festive for the diamond trade, as the recess for the sector led to sharp declines in exports and imports in the month of October. According to statistics published by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), exports of polished diamonds fell 23% in value to $1.93 billion, while declining 17% in volume, from 3.3 to 2.7 million carats year-over-year. For the year to date, the value of polished diamond exports has fallen 2.76% to $13.83 billion.
The other key indicator for the trade, imports of rough diamonds, also declined significantly in October due to the timing of Diwali this year. The value of rough diamond imports tumbled by 36% to $807 million from $1.26 billion a year earlier, while the volume of rough imports fell to 9.4 million carats from 11.3 million carats. The value of rough imports is down just 1.5% for the first seven months of the year despite a 26% increase in the volume of rough exports, highlighting the proliferation of smaller sized, lower value stones being traded.
As for the less indicative figures, polished imports fell 30% to $137.5 million, while rough exports lost 31% year-over-year, finishing the month at $69.8 million.