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Slack Demand Leads to Earlier Diwali Holiday Closings

Oct 27, 2015 4:16 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Indian diamantaires will close a week early for Diwali this year as they expect a subdued holiday season, The Times of India newspaper reported October 25.

Work will stop by the end of October even though the official 20-day vacation does not begin until November 5, the report said. Diwali will be celebrated on November 11 this year. Most business owners are contemplating reopening in the first week of December, a Diamond Trading Company sightholder was quoted as saying.

A fall in demand for polished stones has negatively impacted the Indian industry as the Chinese economy slowed down, according to the report. Around 300 smaller diamond units have closed permanently in recent months, cutting output capacity by 60 percent and making more than 20,000 workers redundant.

In addition, Indian firms will likely feel the knock-on effect of bankruptcies in the wider region, including a diamond jewelry firm in Hong Kong and Bangkok which defaulted on $54 million (Rs 350 crore) to which some Indian businesses supplied gems.

India’s polished diamond exports slumped to $1.92 billion in September, down 28 percent from a year ago, and imports dived 79 percent to $235 million, according to data from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Diamantaires are now under pressure to clear their growing inventories, the report claimed.
Tags: Diwali, India, Rapaport News, Surat
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