- UAE emerges as biggest export market
- FY12 exports seen at pre-2008 level
- Trade body says lack of roughs poses challenge
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The growth in exports of gems and jewellery from India is likely to return to pre-2008 levels in FY12 and a trade body estimates it at 20 percent, spurred by buying from the Gulf region and Hong Kong.
Gems and jewellery exports from the country, which controls 95 percent of the world market, jumped 46.89 percent to $43.14 billion in FY11 due to low base effect, said the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) sponsored by the ministry of commerce.
“India today is looked upon as one of the leading players in the global arena.... We believe the growth path will continue in the coming year as well,” said council Chairman Rajiv Jain on Tuesday.
“When prices go up, there is pressure on margins.... There are ways to take care of it,” said Jain.
Exports of jewellery, including medallions and coins, rose 33.27 percent to $9.67 billion despite prices of yellow metal gaining over 20 percent during 2010/11.
Imports of gold bars rose 15.5 percent to $8.28 billion.
The United Arab Emirates emerged as the top market for Indian gems and jewellery followed by Hong Kong. The U.S. contributed 11 percent of the total exports.
Jain said lack of availability of rough poses a great challenge, as production rose marginally by 4 million carats in 2010.
“There are no new mines coming up in this sector and the existing mines are at their full production capacity. It would be a challenge if we don’t find new mines,” said Jain.
Exports of cut and polished diamonds rose 54.9 percent in the fiscal to March 2011 to $28.25 billion even as prices rose 20-25 percent in the last fiscal.