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IIJS Opens With Fewer Visitors, Challenging Environment

Aug 23, 2012 1:59 PM   By Dilipp S. Nag, Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) 2012 opened on Thursday with noticeably ‎less traffic than previous years and buyers in attendance seemed focused on getting a feel for ‎prices. ‎

Exhibitors came to the show with low expectations as tight liquidity and high inflation has ‎affected local consumer confidence. But they hope that retailers will use IIJS to buy ‎inventory in time for the local festival and the upcoming wedding season.‎

‎“The show may not be more than last year but the timing of IIJS is especially good this ‎year because it gives retailers the chance to make repeat orders before Diwali,”  ‎Mehul Choksi, the chairman of Gitanjali Group, told Rapaport News. ‎Diwali falls in November this year, a month later than it did in 2011. ‎

He acknowledged that the market is tough at the moment but noted that retailers are ‎having a harder time managing high rupee-based gold prices than they are diamonds, ‎given that diamonds account for a much smaller portion of their sales. ‎

Still, diamond suppliers expect retailers to book orders for Diwali now as the festival ‎season has already started. “So far, the show is okay given that it’s only the first day,” ‎said one manufacturer who specializes in goods below 0.50-carat. ‎

Exhibitors noted that there is good demand for G-H color, SI and lower-clarity, clean-cut ‎stones, and that these goods are difficult to find, while demand for better-quality stones is ‎weak. ‎

Sumit Kumar, the sales manager at wholesaler Anmol Jewellers,  said that retailers are ‎beginning to buy again as they have been out of the market for a few months due ‎to the weak market. He expects that visitor traffic will increase over the weekend.‎

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reported that more than 800 ‎companies are exhibiting at this event, which runs until August 27. The council expects ‎‎30,000 local visitors and more than 3,000 visitors from international markets to attend the ‎show, including delegations from Bangladesh, China, Dubai, Hungary, Japan, Pakistan ‎and Singapore.‎

‎“With $43.2 billion in exports, constituting about 14.2 percent of India’s merchandise ‎exports, the importance of this show is immense in the overall growth of the gem and ‎jewelry industry in India,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman of GJEPC.‎

Anand Sharma, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, inaugurated the show along ‎with Jain and Sanjay Kothari, vice chairman of GJEPC. ‎

Jain said that India’s exports declined in June and July and urged the government to ‎provide some relief to the industry. “The times are bad and the industry should be ‎included in the 2 percent subvention scheme of interest and the government should ‎impress upon the banks to extend their credit periods for pre-shipment and penal interest ‎for post shipment as the realization of export proceeds are slow,” he said.‎

Sharma noted that the exports are showing marginal decline due to external factors such as decreased ‎demand from major western markets and economic turmoil across Europe. “The opening ‎ of single brand retail will enhance sourcing by these international retailers like Zales, ‎Tiffany and others from India, thus resulting in expansion of the manufacturing sector ‎and creation of more jobs for the sector,” he added.‎

Jain emphasized that the government should engage proactively with diamond producing ‎countries to acquire the mines or buy stakes in diamond mines for steady supply of ‎rough diamonds, which would in turn safeguard the  jobs of millions of workers in India. He also said ‎that the colored gemstone manufacturers of Jaipur and Diamond India Ltd. have formed ‎Colour Gems India Ltd. (CGIL) and requested the government  ‎establish successful links with the colored gemstone rough producers in different ‎countries.‎

He also pressed for a world-class convention center at Mumbai so ‎that more participants can be accommodated at the IIJS. Sharma stated that he was ‎discussing the matter with Maharashtra government to create such facility in Mumbai.‎
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Tags: diamonds, Dilipp S. Nag, Dilipp S. Nag, Avi Krawitz, GJEPC, IIJS, India, jewellery, Jewelry, Rapaport
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