India's central bank has announced a set of guidelines governing the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) which is expected to be formally launched by the Prime Minister on November and targets the reduction in the country's annual approximate 900 tonnes of yellow metal imports, according to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The government aims to make some of the country’s gold inventory, estimated at more than 20,000 tonnes, held by individuals, trusts or mutual funds available for sale.
The Indian government has raised the amounts it provides for export incentive schemes, including those in the diamond and jewelry sector, in the current financial year to $3.2 billion. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reported that Commerce Secretary Rita A. Teaotia told a meeting with representatives of 27 export promotion councils that the amount was to increase from $2.8 billion.
The Indian diamond industry is busy preparing proposals for increasing direct purchases from ALROSA. The moves follow agreements reached by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin last December when ALROSA then signed 12 contracts for the direct supply of diamonds to Indian companies. Modi and Putin are likely to meet where India will present proposals for expanding diamond imports.
Botswana's Finance Ministry has predicted a deficit of around $390 million, or 2.6 percent of its gross domestic product for the fiscal year, in no small part due to a decline in rough diamond sales. However, credit rating agency Moody’s believes the deficit for fiscal 2016 may be much larger. Diamonds account for almost 40 percent of Botswana's budgetary revenue, and around 85 percent of exports in dollar terms. The country is dependent on diamond sales to aid its national development.
The Swiss watch industry reported a 9.3% drop on the year in exports last month to $1.95 billion, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The export figures were particularly hit by Asian markets, with sales in Asia plunging by 21.4%. The decline in sales to China was 39.6%, in the United Arab Emirates sales dropped 29.8%, and in South Korea they were 19.7% lower. Meanwhile sales to the U.S. were stable, and exports to Europe "continued to gather momentum, led by astonishing progress in France.
Israel’s economic growth slowed in the second quarter, confounding projections as exports - which represent some 40% of Israel's economic activity - tumbled more than 12% and consumer spending slowed, rising just 0.9% in the April-June period in sharp contrast to quarterly gains of 5.5 to 7.5 % over the past year. This fuelled speculation that the central bank will keep interest rates near zero longer than anticipated. Growth slowed to an annualized rate of 0.3% in the April-June period from 2% in the previous quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics said.
China has devalued its currency to boost flagging exports in a move that risks deepening the global currency war. After recent data showing falling exports and a stalling manufacturing sector, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said that it was allowing the yuan to weaken by nearly 2% in the hope of making China’s exports cheaper and pushing down borrowing costs. In what it called a “one-off depreciation”, the PBOC said the centre of the yuan’s trading band was reset 1.9% lower at 6.2298 per US$, its weakest point against the US$ for almost three years.
Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA) members re-elected Ronnie VanderLinden as president at its annual general meeting on August 5.
A fall in gold prices may have brought some cheer to domestic jewelers as they are witnessing an increase in demand, but gem and jewelry exporters aren't celebrating. With demand from China and the Middle East drying up, the exporters find the present scenario tougher than 2008 when the US went into recession. Industry executives estimate the gem and jewelry exports in July to fall around 20% year on year from 16,062 crore. Senior industry officials said the retail demand for gem and jewellery has declined to half in China. The situation in the Middle East is worsening the problem.
At a time when diamond exports have been falling, the government has decided to exempt cut and polished diamonds imported by three laboratories in India from customs duty.
The current slowdown in the Chinese economy is said to be a threat to Botswana’s exports. First National Bank Research Manager Moatlhodi Sebabole says China is a large consumer of commodity products such as diamonds and coal which means less revenue for miners in Botswana. Sebabole said in recent years China has grown as a consumer of jewel diamonds which means that if the economy slows down significantly demand will continuously reduce, and therefore affecting government revenue in the long term.
China announced Monday that it would cut import taxes on clothing, cosmetics and some other goods by half as a new tactic to generate more consumer spending and economic growth. Beijing is in the midst of a long effort to reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth by nurturing domestic consumption. The tariff cuts are scheduled to take effect June 1.
The Times of India reports that India's imports of polished diamonds are up 10% according to data from the GJECP. The rise is largely due to increased domestic consumer demand for larger polished diamonds, whereas India's diamond manufacturing industry focuses mainly on smaller goods. According to The Times of India, an industry source said apart from consumer preference in India, some traders were involved in importing cut and polished diamonds and re-exporting those, with net outflow of foreign currency.
The Maharashtra government is aiming to set up jewelry and knowledge smart city in the state. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wants to promote the growth of the gems and jewelry sector and has requested that an appropriate land space be allocated.
Vice Chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Pankaj Parekh, recently informed Nayan Jani of Royalnib Publication that, “the related groundwork is done & soon the procedures would be ended to enable the SNZ to be operative at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), Mumbai”. The Special Notified Zone is being created with view to cut out middlemen and encourage overseas diamond mining companies to open their offices in India at designated zones to sell their produce directly to Indian manufacturers.
Diamond exports declined by 5% in the 2015 fiscal year which ended on March 31, while jewelry exports soared by 18%, according to figures from the Gems and Jewelery Export Promotion Council.
According to the first quarter figures from the Antwerp diamond industry, it appears that fewer rough diamonds were traded this year in comparison with the first quarter of 2014. The trade figures for polished diamonds paint a more positive picture.
The diamond miner found that worldwide diamond jewelry sales increased by 3% despite slower fourth-quarter growth in luxury goods sales in the two largest markets, the United States and China.
The annually published list by the Diamond Administration of the Economy Ministry of the top 20 Israeli diamond exporters was again headed by Leo Schachter Diamonds.
After posting the slowest growth rate last year in almost a quarter of a century China may be about to see a worsening of its economic problems and even a recession in the short-term.