India's Polished-Diamond Exports Down 25% in August as Prices Bottom Out

04/10/2019 16:06

India's cut and polished diamond exports declined by 25% year-on-year, totalling US$1.64 billion during the month (August 2018: US$2.18 bn) as the average export price tumbled by 19% to $658 per carat, the lowest level in two years. The August results do indicate a modest 9% upturn from July, when India's polished-diamond exports fell to their lowest point in 2019, at $1.50 billion. All figures are from India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

Rough imports during the month fell by only 4.3% to US$861 million in August as compared to US$890 million imported in August last year, but declined by another 22% as compared to July. In volume terms however, rough imports rose sharply (49%) from 7.76 million carats during August 2018 to 11.51 mn carats in August 2019, though it is still less that the 11.74 million carats imported last month. 

Imports of cut and polished diamonds declined 9% to US$113 million in August 2019 from US$124 millionn in the same month a year earlier. Exports of rough diamonds totalled US$120.15 million in August 2019 as compared to US$115.74 mn a year earlier. Notably, India's exports of polished lab-grown diamonds more than doubled to $37.4 million for the month from $15.2 million a year ago.

For the first five months of the current fiscal year (April-August 2019), polished-diamond exports are down 19% to US$8.34 billion as against US$10.30 billion exported over the same months last year, while imports of polished diamonds fell by 16.5% to US$506 million as compared to US$606 million for the same period of the previous year. Imports of rough diamonds during the same period have declined by 25% to US$5.37 billion from US$7.16 bn a year earlier. In volume terms, imports have fallen by nearly 13% from 68.56 million carats in April-August 2018 to 59.86 million carats in the same period in the current fiscal year.