PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, 16 July
India’s gems and jewellery exports dipped about 41 per cent year-on-year to $2.3 billion in June 2013 on account of shortage of the yellow metal and limited inventory in domestic market.
In June last year, these exports stood at $4 billion, according to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
“The exports declined drastically in June as there was a shortage of raw material for jewellery manufacturing. This was because the government had taken steps to curb gold imports,” GJEPC chairman Vipul Shah said.
But, he said the shortage was a short-term phenomenon and hoped that the industry would get regular raw material supply.
India is the largest importer of gold, which is mainly utilised to meet demand of the jewellery industry.
The major markets for the country’s jewellery exports are the USA, Europe, West Asia, Hong Kong and Japan.
In June 2013, there were no outbound shipments of gold medallions and coins, while gold jewellery exports declined 73 per cent.
Silver jewellery exports, however, were up by 52 per cent and outward shipments of cut and polished diamonds jumped about 22 per cent.
During April-June 2013, gems and jewellery exports declined 13.2 per cent year-on-year to $8.5 billion.
India imported around 830 tons of gold in fiscal 2012-13. To curb demand, the government hiked the import duty on gold thrice in a year and raised it recently by two per cent to eight per cent. Besides, the Reserve Bank of India too has put restrictions on banks on importing gold.