India’s exports of cut and polished diamonds fell by over 25% in November, continuing to at a pace well off last year’s levels, according to provisional data released by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). During the month, exports of cut and polished diamond totalled $1.17 billion, compared to $1.56 billion a year ago. For the calendar year to date, India's polished diamond exports have fallen 13% to 25.8 million carats, with the average price down 4% at $750 per carat.
On a more promising note, rough diamond imports during the month increased 32% to $1.2 billion as compared to $929 million imported during the previous November. Also in terms of volume, rough imports increased nearly 20% to more than 15 million carats in November 2019 from 12.7 million carats in November 2018. However, this increase may in part be explained by the timing of Diwali, which took place in October this year instead of November as it was last year. Because Indian cutting & polishing units close for the holiday season, the result is lower rough demand. For the year to date, India's rough imports are down 20%, consistent with global trends.
Additionally, imports of cut and polished diamonds rose to $118 million in November 2019 from just $65 million in the same month a year ago. India's trade in synthetic diamonds continues to rise at a remarkable pace. Exports of polished lab-grown diamonds hit nearly $22 million during the month compared to $10.25 million a year earlier. Imports of rough lab grown diamonds increased to $33 million during the month, up from about $10 million a year ago, while imports of polished lab-grown diamonds rose to $10 million in November 2019 as compared to less than $3.5 million a year earlier.
Image: Shruti Mehta @DiamondsandAntwerp