At a time when the global markets are opening up from the pangs of Covid-19 in the last two years, India's gems & jewellery exports are staging a big comeback in growth to the pre-pandemic period. In the first six months (Apr-Sept) of this financial year, gross exports of gems & jewellery from India recorded a growth of 11% to ₹1.40 lakh crore, when compared to ₹1.26 lakh crore in 2019-20.
In dollar terms, the growth was 5.13%, from the first half of 2019-20 to $18.98 billion. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown effects across the globe, gross exports from India were down by more than half at about $8 billion in the first six months of last fiscal, when compared to $18.1 billion in April-September 2019.
Surat, the largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in the world, was shut for almost four months during the lockdown.
"With this performance in the first half, the sector has already achieved nearly half (46%) of the $41.7 billion exports target set by the Government for the current fiscal year. The sentiment in the industry is incredibly positive with markets opening up and demand gradually returning to normal", avers Colin Shah, chairman, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the apex body of gems and jewellery industry with over 7000 registered exporters. He says with this kind of recovery in exports, India would be able to achieve the target of $75 billion in exports within a few years. India’s gems and jewellery exports are expected to reach $100 billion by 2025, according to an India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) analysis. In FY21, exports of gems & jewellery were only worth $25.30 billion.
During April-September 2021, cut & polished diamond exports grew 26.98% to ₹91,489.2 crore as compared to April-September 2019. In dollar terms, the growth was 20.24% to $12.4 billion, according to the GJEPC data.
The growth during the last six months was further triggered by increased exports of silver jewellery and studded gold Jewellery. Silver Jewellery exports increased by 153.14% to ₹9477.39 crore as compared to April-September 2019. Growth in dollar terms was by 139.96%.
However, gold jewellery exports declined 28.52% to ₹29,379.36 crore as compared to ₹41,103.82 crore for the same period in 2019. In dollar terms, the decline is about 32.34%. Plain gold jewellery exports also fell by 61.28% to ₹11,617.98 crore as compared to April-September 2019. In dollar terms, the decline is 63.38%. Coloured gemstone exports also fell by 15.37% to ₹1,059.95 crore during the first six months of the fiscal.