India's polished-diamond exports declined in value by 15.5% over the full course of 2019 on a 13% decline in the volume of goods exported, according to statistics published by India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The decline in the polished trade triggered a slowdown in manufacturing, and consequently of their demand for rough imports, which declined 18% in value on a 9% decrease in the volume of rough imported.
Considered in detail, India exported $20.62 billion in polished diamonds as compared to $24.40 billion in 2018 as the volume of goods exported tumbled to 27.5 million carats from 31.5 million carats a year earlier. The average price per carat of polished-diamond exports declined by 3.4% for the year, to $749 from $775 per carat. India's imports of rough diamonds for manufacturing fell to $13.8 billion from $16.9 billion as the volume of rough diamonds imported dropped to 156.6 million carats from 172.8 million carats. India has a much smaller trade in polished imports and rough exports. The industry totaled $1.35 billion (-11%) of the former during 2019, and $1.31 billion (+1%) of the latter.
In December 2019, India’s exports of cut and polished diamonds continued to remain below last year’s levels, with the $1.25 billion exported representing a 4.54% year-over-year year decline. This, however, was significantly less than November's 25% decline from the same month a year earlier. Rough imports during the month also fell by 7.63% to $1.60 billion as compared to $1.74 billion imported during the previous December. In volume terms as well, rough imports were down, dropping by 14% to 16.7 million carats from the 19.3 million carats imported during December 2018.
India's imports of cut and polished diamonds in December increased 36% to $152 million from $112 million in the same month a year earlier, while exports of rough diamonds totalled $72.93 million in December 2019 as compared to $105.63 million a year earlier. The volume of rough exports declined as well, to 1.94 million carats from 2.37 million carats in December 2018.
Exports of polished lab-grown diamonds more than doubled in December to $36 million as compared to $17 million a year earlier, while imports of rough lab-grown diamonds more than tripled to $46 million in December as compared to $14.75 million during the same month last year. Imports of polished lab-grown diamonds rose to $9.5 million in December 2019 from $6.8 million a year earlier.