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Gems, jewellery exports decline 35% in Feb

By BS Reporter in Mumbai
March 14, 2009 10:33 IST
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The global economic meltdown has hampered purchasing power of jewellery consumers, resulting in a severe decline in India's February exports of the world's most preferred luxury item.

According to the statistics compiled by the apex body, the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, India's total gems and jewellery exports declined 34.57 per cent at $1,221.43 million ($1,866.74 last year). Because of a steep depreciation in the Indian currency, the total shipment recorded a slump of 19.11 per cent to Rs 5,911.74 crore (Rs 7,308.30 crore) in rupee terms.

In manufacturing exports, the decline was even more alarming at 45.74 per cent in dollar terms in February 2009, as dwindling demand from export markets caused huge stockpiling in processing units. In rupee terms, however, the decline was recorded at 33.32 per cent in net manufacturing exports.

Overall exports during the period between April 2008 and February 2009 saw gems and jewellery exports at $17,791.40 million (Rs 79,403 crore), showing a decline of a marginal 4.62 per cent (but a rise of 5.65 per cent in rupee terms) as compared to $18,653.63 million (Rs 75,155.46 crore) in the same period previous year.

In manufacturing exports, the decline was at 17.88 per cent in dollar terms in this fiscal of April 08-February 09 when compared to same period last year. In rupee terms, there was a decline of 9.40 per cent in net manufacturing exports during this financial year.

The shipment of cut and polished diamonds at of $872.92 million (Rs 4,224.94 crore) in February recorded a decline of 34.87 per cent (a decline of 19.48 per cent in rupee terms) as compared to $1,340.20 million (Rs 5,246.89 crore) during the same period of previous year.

India also imported cut and polished diamonds to the tune of Rs 2,521.65 crore in February as compared to Rs 2,224.18 crore in the comparable month last year. The figures show that trade of cut and polished diamonds due to manufacturing activities have shown a decline of 43.65 per cent in rupee terms as compared to the same period last year.

During April-February, the overall export of cut and polished diamonds at $11,876.45 million (Rs 53,004.59 crore) showed a decline of 6.39 per cent (3.69 per cent in rupee terms) as compared to $12687.19 million (Rs 51,116.67 crore) for the same period of previous year.

Imports of rough diamonds at $7,249.39 (Rs 32,839.73 crore) million in April 08 - February 09 have shown a decline of dollar term 20.12  per cent (11.31  per cent in rupee term) compared with $9,075.36 million (Rs 37,027.47 crore) in the same period last year.

The marginal growth in exports of cut  and polished diamonds in the year 2008-09 from the corresponding period of last year is due to increase in the trading activities of cut and polished diamonds, which has arisen due to the reduction of import duty on cut and polished diamonds and other inputs.

Provisional export of gold jewellery for the period April 08 - February 09 at $4,764.68 million (Rs 21,264.75 crore) shows a decline of 4.85 per cent (a rise of 5.40 per cent in rupee term) over the comparative figure of $5,007.32 million (Rs 20,174.51 crore ) in the same period last year.

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BS Reporter in Mumbai
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