Rapaport Magazine

Under Control

India August Market Report

By Zainab Morbiwala


Leading local industry players heatedly challenged recent reports by The Times of India newspaper that said the imbalance between rough and polished prices is causing dealers to lose from 10 percent to 20 percent per month on the polished they are selling. Dealers also denied reports by the same paper that claim nearly 30,000 diamond workers in the Surat region have lost their jobs in the past two months.

“The market condition is very much under control,” said Aagam Sanghavi of Sanghavi Exports. “It surprises me to read reports in the media that the situation in the diamond industry is bad. For my company, production is steady and at least until Diwali, I do not see any decline in production for my company or for the rest of the industry.” The Diwali holiday is in mid-November this year. 

Dineshbhai Navadiya, president of the Surat Diamond Association (SDA), agreed. “I have not come across any instance of a negative market condition. The reports in the newspaper of workers being jobless are baseless.” Rajiv Jain, chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), explained that “In fact, the industry is looking for skilled manpower. The question of people being jobless just does not arise. I have no clue where The Times of India got a figure of 30,000 workers being rendered jobless. This is not accurate at all.”

SLUMP IS SEASONAL

Commenting on the newspaper’s assertion that dealers are forced to sell polished at a loss because of the sharp rise in the price of the rough and the fall in the price of the polished, Jain added, “This is simply not true.” Medium to low-end stones are selling well right now because buyers are spending cautiously, according to Sanghavi, but he reiterated that the strength at the low end is no sign of the market becoming weak in any way.

Navadiya stated that during the summer season, the industry expects demand to be slow but that should not make people jump to the conclusion that it is in a crisis period.

“Ups and downs are there in each industry and that applies to the gems and jewelry industry, too,” Navadiya said. “I am very sure that the market will pick up the pace after the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), when people start stocking for the festive Christmas and Diwali holiday season.” IIJS opens on August 23 in Mumbai and Navadiya noted shopping for the year-end holiday usually begins in September.

IT’S SHOW TIME

The month of August is one of the most anticipated months for the Indian diamond industry because of the IIJS, which is organized and hosted by GJEPC. With the market anticipating some sluggish demand for diamonds in this second half of 2012, the players are hoping that the show will give them a boost, with domestic and international buyers attending the event to stock up for the holiday season.

Apart from IIJS, the council is very upbeat about the third edition of the Indian International Jewellery Week (IIJW),  slated to be held in Mumbai August 19 to 23. Jain said he is seeing “a tremendous response for both IIJS and IIJW and there is already a lot of excitement in the industry. People are more upbeat about the domestic market demand. There are many more international participants for IIJW this year and one of the highlights will be an exclusive show by Japan’s leading jewelry designer Ishikawa Nobuko. The event also will have a touch of glamour, with Bollywood celebrities modeling jewelry on the runway.”

TALKING TRADE

A much-awaited conference — The Rapaport International Diamond Conference — will be held at Vivanta by Taj-President in Mumbai on August 29. The focus of the conference will be on branding opportunities, investment diamonds and both rough diamond and polished diamond prices.

Indian Minister of Industry and Commerce Anand Sharma led a high-level Indian business delegation to Belgium at the end of June. In addressing the Global India Business Meeting–2012, Sharma urged the Antwerp Diamond Bourse to establish an institutional linkage with the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) to expand trade and develop needed skills. Sharma also assured the diamond industry that issues relating to the simplification of the procedural tax would be taken up with the Indian Finance Ministry. He added that he was confident that India’s coalition government would be able to come to a consensus very soon on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail in India.

A GJEPC delegation also met with S.R. Rao, the recently appointed India Commerce Secretary. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of importance to the gems and jewelry industry, especially ways to increase exports. Among the other topics were: the presumptive taxation system, reintroduction of the 2 percent interest subvention on the rupee export credit, transfer pricing and the generic promotion of diamonds worldwide.

 

The Marketplace

  • The overall market for polished and rough remains quiet.

  • Buyers are being cautious due to uncertain prices.

  • Demand is better for fancy shapes than for rounds.

  • The VS+ category is seeing sluggish demand and sharp price reductions.

  • The market is eagerly anticipating the upcoming India International Jewellery Show (IIJS).

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - August 2012. To subscribe click here.

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