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The future for synthetics lies in that it has become possible to grow a stone you want and make what you want out of it

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Rising diamond export demands put Indian polishing centre under pressure

02 november 2009

The Indian diamond processing centre of Surat may not be able to fulfill export demand ahead of the Christmas sales season due to an acute shortage of raw material as a result of a sharp fall in De Beers' output, Antwerpfacetsonline reported.
"Christmas export demand for polished diamonds is better this year against last year, but there is a shortage of rough diamonds due to fall in De Beers' output which is likely to be almost half this year from last year," Pravin Nanavaty, general secretary of the Gujarat Hira Bourse, a Surat-based diamond manufacturers' and exporters' body, told NewsWire18.
The Surat trade sources most of its rough diamonds from the Diamond Trading Company.
"De Beers had cut its production in the first half of this year due to weak demand. Now, when the global economic conditions have improved and demand for finished diamonds is good, De Beers cannot scale up its production sharply due to technical reasons," Nanavati said.
Meanwhile, C.P. Vanani, former president of Surat Diamond Association, said: "This means that Surat's diamond processors will have to struggle for sourcing raw material. There are many exporters who have outstanding Christmas export orders from China, Japan and European countries and they are running out of raw diamonds. This shortage might get worse in the coming months."
He said that due to higher levels of export orders, most of the city's diamond plants were only a taking a 15-day Diwali vacation until November 2, compared with the usual period of 30-40 days.
Dinesh Navadiya, vice president of the Surat Diamond Association, said some large processing plants have already resumed work to complete their outstanding export orders. "However, if raw material shortage increases, then they might have to refuse further orders," he added.
Surat was estimated to have around 4,000 cutting and polishing units employing 200,000 workers at the peak of business in mid-2008. Following the onset of the global financial crisis last year, more than half closed down. There are now thought to be approximately 2,500 units functioning.