Faced with a sharp decline in India's gems and jewellery exports during the first half of the current financial year, apex industry body the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), under the Ministry of Commerce, invited over 110 leading global buyers to India to enhance their trading directly with Indian suppliers of polished diamond. Importers of polished diamond from the United States, Russia, Turkey and China directly dealt with Indian suppliers. The importers, who were visiting India for the first time, evinced interest in continuing purchase from Indian suppliers. This is the first of its kind meeting between buyers and sellers of polished diamond that saw overseas importers negotiating terms of supply and price directly with Indian buyers. These buyers were earlier purchasing polished diamonds from local suppliers. "November is the best time for conducting buyer-seller meets, as it marks the beginning of the new season for 2018 across key markets targeting the Christmas, the Chinese New Year and other festive occasions across the world," said Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman, GJEPC. India's gems and jewellery exports have been falling and this meeting was a step to arrest the decline. Data compiled by the GJEPC showed a 7.43 per cent decline in India's gems and jewellery exports, valued at $16.83 billion, for the period between April and September in 2017.
Last year, the value of exports stood at $18.18 billion in the same period. In rupee terms, however, overall gems and jewellery exports declined by 10 per cent to Rs 1,08,378.38 crore for April-September period.Heading the US delegation, Reuven Kaufman, President, Diamond Dealers Club (US), said: "The direct sourcing from India helps in maintaining continuity as we get the widest possible range of finished diamonds that are suitable for all kinds of jewellery." While India's gems and jewellery sales to the US has improved, its overall decline in the first half is unlikely to be recovered in the second half. This means that overall, gems and jewellery exports from India is likely to remain muted for FY18. Currently, US accounts for around 40 per cent of India's overall annual jewellery sales.