India’s rough diamond imports drop 4.7% in December

Source: Business Standard, Jan 17, 2017

Mumbai: India’s rough diamond imports fell 4.7 per cent in December from a year ago to $1.398 billion, a atrade body said on Tuesday, as the scrapping of high-value currency notes forced many small polishing units to idle their units.

India is a global diamond polishing hub where 14 out of every 15 rough diamonds in the world are polished.

The country’s exports of cut and polished diamonds jumped 22.5 percent in December to $1.478 billion, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council said in a statement.

“Demand for polished diamonds was good from the US and European market for holiday season,” said a Mumbai-based exporter, who declined to be named.

In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped 500 and 1,000-rupee banknotes, or 86 percent of the value of cash in circulation, as part of a crackdown on corruption, tax evasion and militant financing.

The move disrupted diamond polishing in the country as small units mainly do business in cash.

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