June 25, 2001
U.S. Imports of Indian Diamonds Drop
Exports of cut diamonds from India have dropped 25% over the same period last year, reports the Associated French Press. The slowing U.S. economy is responsible for the dip, Sanjay Kothari of the India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council tells AFP.
Diamond trade is one of Indias top foreign exchange industries, and the U.S. consumes nearly half of the diamonds India cuts and polishes. While India no longer produces any rough diamonds of its own, it has developed its diamond-cutting and jewelry manufacturing industries, and today imports low- to middle-grade rough from independent producers, principally Australia. India's diamond sector exports are reported to have grown at a 10% yearly rate since 1990.
The lower figures are a disappointment for Indian producers. Just last year India reported a 32% surge in diamond exports over the previous year. India's export council had targeted sales to reach $US 8 billion this year, but now says the figure will be considerably lower.
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.