India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in October declined by 15.4% year-on-year to $1.95 billion as compared to $2.30 billion in October 2018, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India. The $1.95 billion is the same amount exported in September, which represented an 18% decline from the year prior. The volume of polished diamonds exported declined 8% to 2.8 million carats, as the average price per carat for the month fell 22% to $689 per carat. For the fiscal year to date (April - Oct. 2019), polished diamond exports have fallen 18% to $12 billion from $15 exported over the same period last year. For the calendar year to date, they are down 15% at $18.2 billion. The average price per carat for the year to date (Jan.- Oct.) has only declined 4% to $755 per carat.
Rough imports during the month of October fell by 20% to $796 million from $990 million during the previous October. In volume terms, rough imports increased marginally by 2% to 9.9 million carats in October 2019 from 9.7 mcts during October 2018. For the fiscal year to date, imports of rough diamonds have declined by more than 22% in value to $7.3 billion from $9.4 billon during the same period a year earlier. For the calendar year to date, the value of rough-diamond imports has lost 23% to $11 billion. In volume terms, India has imported 10% fewer rough goods, falling to 85 million carats for the first seven months of the fiscal year from 94 mcts in the same period last year.
Imports of cut and polished diamonds rose to $165 million in October 2019 from $92 million in October 2018. Meanwhile, exports of rough diamonds totalled $98.5 million in October 2019 as compared to $133 million a year earlier. Big gains have been recorded in India's trade of rough and polished laboratory-grown diamonds, though they still total just a small percentage - less than 3% - of India's overall polished trade. Exports of polished laboratory-grown diamonds stood at $54 million in October 2019, doubling the $27 million of synthetic diamonds exported a year earlier. For the fiscal year to date, exports of polished synthetic diamonds have risen to $254 million from April-October 2019 as compared to $124 million a year earlier. Imports of polished synthetic diamonds quadrupled to $23 million in October 2019 from less than 6 million in October 2018. For the fiscal year to date, imports of those items surged to $144 million from $42 million a year earlier.
While the number of carats is not disclosed, India does not seem to be importing large volumes of synthetic rough diamonds, at only $9 milllon during the month, down from $10.37 million in October 2018. The value per carat, however, would be very low. Imports of rough synthetic diamonds stood at $83 million in the first seven months of the fiscal year, an increase from imports of $75 million a year ago.