COVID-19 stalemate has caused gem and jewellery gross exports to fall in April to September period to Rs 63,339.58 crore, 39.27 percent less than the Rs 1,04,295.97 crore during the same period in the previous year. In September, gross exports were Rs 18,143.87 crore, 24.89 percent less than the Rs 24,156.99 crore in September 2019, said provisional data from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC).
Total gold jewellery exports in the April-September 2020 were worth Rs 9,926.57 crore, 64.48 percent less than the Rs 43,425.22 crore exported through all ports in the same period, last year. Exports of cut and polished diamonds, the mainstay of India's gem and jewellery industry with base in Gujarat, were worth Rs 41,097.56 crore during the period, 32.31 percent less than the Rs 72,056.79 crore worth of exports during the same months of 2019.
In September, exports of cut and polished diamonds were worth Rs 11,495.20 crore, a 17.15 percent drop, from the Rs 13,874.96 crore exported during the same month in 2019. However, silver jewellery exports in September were worth Rs 1,701.67 crore, a 100.68 percent jump from Rs 847.93 crore in the same month of last year.
"Export of gems and jewellery is expected to decline by 20-25% in 2020-21 from the Rs 2,52,249.46 crore in 2019-20. The industry is expected to recover to 2019-20 levels by next year and growth will likely come back by 2021-22," GJEPC chairman Colin Shah said at a virtual press conference as part of the closing of Virtual India International Jewellery Show (IIJS).
The five-day event had over 330 exhibitors, 10,000 buyers who did over 9,900 meetings. They are believed to have done business to the tune of over Rs 1,000 crore. The GJEPC had earlier revealed that after the outbreak of COVID-19, the declining rate of gem and jewellery exports doubled to (-)11.32% during December-February 2020 as compared to (-)5.53% registered during April-Nov 2019, causing losses of $2.57 billion by the end of March 2020.