The value of India's polished-diamond exports grew by approximately 6% to over $24 billion in 2018 despite a 10% downturn in the volume of goods exported, according to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The rise in value is attributable to a 17% higher average price per carat, calculated at $775, for the 31.5 million carats exported, reflecting an industry-wide trend in 2018 of softening trade in smaller, lower-quality goods and more robust demand for larger goods. Meanwhile, imports of rough diamonds to the world's largest manufacturing hub declined by 9% in value to $16.7 billion, and 11% in volume to 173 million carats from 195 million carats. india's rough imports were affected by its weak currency against the US dollar, the currency in which diamonds are traded, and tightening access to finance in the wake of several scandals.
The increased value of India's annual polished diamond trade was achieved despite a notable slowdown in the month of December. Polished exports in December tumbled by 17.5% to $1.31 billion from $1.59 billion in December 2017. Rough diamond imports during the month did not fare any better, falling by 20% to $1.74 billion from $2.18 billion. The volume of rough diamonds imported during the month, however, declined by only 7% to 19.3 million carats from 20.8 million carats.