Indian Diamond Industry Unites to Halt Rough Diamond Imports for Two Months
The organizations behind this call to action include the GJEPC, Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association, and the Surat Diamond Association (SDA). This unprecedented move is prompted by the industry's recognition of the challenges it currently faces.
Surat : In a collaborative effort to address the ongoing challenges faced by the Indian diamond industry, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and several prominent diamond associations have made a historic appeal. They are urging the Indian diamond industry to voluntarily suspend the import of natural rough diamonds from global diamond mining companies for a period of two months, commencing from October 15 to December 15, 2023.
The organizations behind this call to action include the GJEPC, Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association, and the Surat Diamond Association (SDA). This unprecedented move is prompted by the industry’s recognition of the challenges it currently faces.
The industry leaders will review the situation in the first week of December, 2023 and then decide future course of action. This appeal solely aims to voluntary halt the import of rough diamonds, while allowing diamond manufacturing factories to continue their operations without interruption. Additionally, diamond factories in Surat and Gujarat have been urged for measures to be taken to support the artisans during this period, thereby ensuring that there is no adverse impact on their livelihoods.
One of the key issues that prompted this appeal is the significant decline in demand for loose polished diamonds and jewelry, primarily from major consumer economies like the United States and China. This demand decline has persisted over several quarters, following the record-high demand experienced in 2021 and 2022.
Unfortunately, it has led to a visible slowdown in orders, resulting in a 25% decline in India’s diamond exports from January to August 2023. The same trend continued into September, further exacerbating the situation. Consequently, inventories of polished diamonds have swelled, leading to softer diamond prices due to a mismatch in supply and demand.
In response to this critical situation, industry leaders, including about 100 manufacturers, traders, importers, exporters, and trade association office bearers from Mumbai and Surat, convened to review the scenario. Their consensus was that a temporary halt in the import of rough diamonds is necessary to safeguard the interests of the industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The GJEPC is spearheading efforts to rejuvenate demand in crucial markets, partnering with other trade bodies, the Government of India, the Natural Diamond Council, rough diamond mining companies, and like-minded organizations in the United States. Recent initiatives include a grand gala function organized by GJEPC in Hong Kong, aimed at creating positive awareness around natural diamonds.
Simultaneously, GJEPC is exploring alternative markets, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and others. The GJEOC (GJEPC) has created a dedicated diamond section within the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), resulting in a noticeable increase in diamond demand in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.