Indian diamond market loses sparkle
SURAT, July 21: Slowdown in Indian diamond industry has prompted world's largest diamond mining company De Beers to lower its production forecast for 2019, with its mining output in second quarter falling 14per cent.
According to US-based Rapaport Group, De Beers' mining output fell 14per cent to 7.7 million carats in the second quarter as the company continues to produce to market demand. Sales volume slumped 10per cent to nine million carats in the three months ending June 30 due to oversupply. Demand for rough diamonds continues to remain subdued as a result of challenges in the midstream with higher polished inventories, and caution due to macroeconomic uncertainty, including US-China trade tensions, the company explained.
According to data published by India's Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), import of rough diamonds fell 26per cent in April-June 2019 to $3.4 billion compared to $4.5 billion during the same period last year.
Import of rough diamonds in June fell 36per cent to $969 million compared to $1.5 billion in the same month in previous year. Industry sources said rough diamond imports may remain on lower side for next two months following subdued demand for polished diamonds in international market.
Surat Diamond Association president Babu Gujarati said, "The diamond industry is in recessionary mode. Diamantaires are exercising production cut as huge amount of polished diamonds are still lying unsold in their inventories. About 30per cent of units in the industry are yet to reopen after summer vacation." -TNN