The Belgium city saw imports and exports declining by more than 30 per cent.
Chennai: Sluggish off-take of rough diamonds and export of cut and polished diamonds by Indian gems and jewllery sector has badly affected the trade in the global diamond trading hub, Antwerp. The Belgium city saw imports and exports declining by more than 30 per cent.
India is the major participant of the diamond trade happening out of Antwerp and the vagaries in the Indian gems and jewellery market keeps affecting the business of this city.
In August, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) exported over 4.70 million carats of rough at a value of $322.84 million, which was a decline of 33.10 per cent in value terms. Rough imports too fell by 27.78 per cent in value terms to $461.02 million against the same month last year.
Trade in polished diamonds also dipped during the month. Exports at $323.07 million saw a drop of 11.47 per cent in volume terms, and of 33.55 per cent in value terms. During the month, the centre imported 387,860 carats of polished at a value of $574.99 million- 18.78 per cent drop in value terms as compared to August 2018.
During the first eight months of 2019, rough exports showed a decrease of 19.86 per cent in volume terms and 30.20 per cent in value terms, while rough imports were down 18.71 per cent in volume terms and 28.38 per cent in value terms.
Polished exports during Jan-August 2019 too were down 11.41 per cent in volume and lower by 7.52 per cent in value. Polished imports were down 8.99 per cent in volume and 5.37 per cent in value terms.
According to industry insiders, the lower off-take of roughs and export of polished diamonds from India has been affecting the trade of Antwerp. India is world’s largest processor of diamonds- importing roughs and exporting processed ones.
In August, cut and polished diamond exports from India fell 24.86 per cent and the decline was 19 per cent in the April-August period.
According to Colin Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, the continuing decline in exports is a result of the unfavourable perception of bankers and the government about the trade and the sector is suffering due to the wrongdoings of a few.