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November is diamond trade awareness month

08 december 2014

The Indian diamond industry’s main focus during the month of November was the World Diamond Conference scheduled to be held in New Delhi on December 11th and 12th, 2014, and scheduled to be inaugurated by Russian President H.E. Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Indian diamond industry was back to business after almost a month-long Diwali vacation. Production, during the month of November began in full earnest at the cutting centres and trading picked up substantially in the diamond district in Mumbai. The US market was stable with good demand for smalls, while China and other Far East countries were slower than anticipated. Demand from the rest of the world was weak. The Indian domestic market as usual was the sustenance reflecting quite encouraging demand as the wedding season round the corner. The manufacturers however complained of liquidity problems; and large polished inventories were reported. This is attributed to weak demand globally for polished stones, which the manufacturers did not expect and increased their production output before closing for Diwali vacations. Buyers felt the asking prices were high and were stalling closing of deals, expecting prices to soften further. Diamantaires look forward to a price correction in the coming months, to set right the wafer-thin profits margins for the last few months. Rough trading was stable but better than in the previous month. Rough prices may remain at the current level until the end of 2014.

The Industry expects better exports during November than against the previous month of October, performance results of which were recently announced by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India. According to GJEPC, India’s cut and polished exports for the month of October 2014 have recorded US$ 2,218.81 million as against US$ 2,600.16 million during October 2013, registering a decrease of 14.67 percent. Exports for the period of April 2014 to October 2014 were US$ 14,303.68 million as against US$ 15,777.66 million for the period of April 2013 to October 2013, registering a decline of 8.26 percent. But despite the Government’s steps to curb polished imports, imports by SEZ zones from all over India, as well as by the Mumbai domestic tariffs area importers are continuing unabated. Polished diamond imports recorded US$ 4,344.66 million for April 2014 - October 2014 as against US$ 3,990.15 million for the same period last year, an increase of 8.88 percent. During the month of Oct.’14 however, polished imports registered a marginal high of US$ 600.09 million for the month of October 2014 compared to US$ 585.19 million in October 2013, registering an increase of 2.55 percent.

A delegation of senior officials from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), met with representatives of the GJEPC and the Bharat Diamond Bourse. RJC’s intention to maximize its coverage and impact in existing sectors like gold, platinum and diamonds over the next two years; and to examine and review the opportunities in other sectors like coloured gemstones was appreciated. GJEPC requested that RJC put up Compliance Guidance Notes on its website as currently there was little clarity on the issue.

Another feather in GJEPC’s cap - the Gem Testing Laboratory (GTL) at Jaipur achieved a 40% growth in its performance in the first six months of FY 2013-14 (April-September 2014), as compared to a 15%  growth achieved in the same period last year. GTL, a GJEPC initiative has achieved this growth due to the constant upgradation of its technology and a quick turnaround time to deliver results. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said that the industry is proud of GTL’s impeccable performance and services offered to Indian and International markets as well. He said that GTL’s constant endeavor to keep abreast of quality and technological norms prevailing in the industry, that it has achieved success.

The announcement by GJEPC of the second edition of the India-US Diamond Week, which will be held from January 12-15, 2015 at the Diamond Dealers Club in New York, was received with much enthusiasm by the industry players. The Diamond Week, which is being organized in joint association with the DDC, will spread over three and a half days, and bring together Indian diamond manufacturers and diamond wholesalers and dealers from the US.

The visit by Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic & Business Affairs, USA, along with a high-level delegation was viewed as a positive step for the trade between the two countries.

The visitors held discussions with the key Gem & Jewellery Associations of India on Saturday at the Bharat Diamond Bourse. In addition to the GSP restoration, the Indian trade members emphasized that the US retailers should incentivize the Indian industry for being members of Responsible Jewellery Council to achieve highest level of compliance to meet the expectations & demands of consumers in the world, especially the USA. Also, they insisted on fair play in calling for standards in terms of Indian manufacturers vis a vis jewellery manufacturers from other countries.

Of late, diamond companies in India have been hit hard due to non-availability of finance, especially after closure of ADB Bank and Standard Chartered reducing its exposure to the diamond industry. Now, the ABN Amro Bank plans to re-enter India is to revive its diamond financing business of the past. The GJEPC / Indian industry has urged the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to grant banking license to the Netherlands-based ABN Amro Bank NV, so that it could open its branches in the India, which will be helpful to the Indian diamond industry.

Following many jewellery companies in the domestic market launching new collections before & during Diwali, the focus is now on the upcoming Wedding season. Rio Tinto’s flagship diamond jewellery initiative in India, Nazraana™, launched seven new collections - Love, Infinity, Heritage, Spirituality, Contemporary, Floral and Men’s Luxury to celebrate the Indian wedding season.

Going by the financial results announced recently, not many companies fared well but Indian company, Shrenuj & Company Ltd., has reported that revenue jumped 21 per cent year on year to US $426.2 million for the first half of the fiscal year that ended on September 30. Profit too improved by 14 per cent to US $7.8 million. Shrenuj stated that revenue increased 9.7 per cent in the second quarter to US $207.5 million and profit rose 10 per cent to $4.4 million.

Recently, World Gold Council  announced that India has once again took over as the world's biggest gold consumer, buying 225.1 tonnes of gold jewellery, coins and bars last quarter, compared to 182.7 tonnes in China. India, which lost its position as the leading gold buyer to China in 2011, saw a 60 per cent surge in jewellery demand in the third quarter. No surprises there, given the history of the love for gold by Indians.

Gold is in the News again. The surprise news at the close of the month came unexpectedly from the Government of India. In a move that should cut premiums on gold, lower prices for buyers and cut smuggling, the Government of India scrapped a rule imposed in August 1913, mandating that a fifth of all the precious metal imported should be re-exported. The Reserve Bank of India issued a notification on 28-11-2014, withdrawing the norm imposed on August 14, 2013, to reduce the widening current account deficit (CAD) and relieve pressure on the rupee that had weakened sharply. This move by the Government has brought good cheer to the Indian jewellery sector in general.

The demand/supply situation during the month of November 2014 was as follows:-

POLISHED

Rounds

0.005-0.15 cts, F-J / SI+, moving well

1/5, H-J / VS, good demand, selling well, sufficient of goods in market

1/4-3/8, selling well 1/4-3/4, D-J / SI+ moving fast

1/2-3/4, white / pique, selling well

0.80-0.90 cts, selling well; F-J / VVS goods.

1.00-3.00 cts, D-K / SI to pique, selling well

1.00-3.00 cts, H-J / SI1+ high demand for good makes

4.00+ cts, H-M / VS+ selling ok, but less goods available

Fancy Cuts

Emeralds and Stabbes (wide baguettes), 0.25-1.00 cts, good demand D-J / VS+, selling well

Marquises 0.25-5.00 cts, F-J / VS+, good demand, moving well

Princesses, Pears and Emeralds, 2.00-5.00 cts, good demand for H-K / VS, moving well, good demand

ROUGH

Makeables: good demand; shortage of goods

1-5 point: fair demand: makeables; very good demand for OW TTLB & TTLC; shortage of goods

6-20 point: very good demand for crystals/makeables

Fancies

21-50 point: good demand, shortage of goods

0.51-1.00 carat: good demand: makeables; crystals

1.01-2.00 carat: very good demand crystals, all fancy shapes; shortage of goods

2.01-4.0: moving well, less goods

5.00 carat+: good demand: $1,000+ makeables, crystals & all fancy shapes

Mixed lot: very good demand

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Indian Bureau, Rough&Polished