Diamond is everywhere: thanks to diversed market

Ahmedabad: The slowdown in US and Europe is not impacting the diamond trade at Surat, Asia`s largest diamond polishing hub, thanks to a diversified market. It was not so till recently. Only two years ago, diamond industry in Gujarat (which polishes over 95 per cent of the world`s diamonds) was in trouble due to drastic fall in export orders from US and Europe.

But now there are newer markets. "Development of Asian and domestic markets in the last couple of years has changed the dynamic. Asian market, which contributed merely 2-3 per cent to the trade a decade ago, has now risen to over 25 per cent. Earlier we were dependent solely on US and Europe," said Surat Diamond Association (SDA) President, Dinesh Navadia.

"The dependence on US and Europe has come down."

According to Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), among the Asian markets, Hong Kong accounted for the highest export of cut and polished diamonds from India between January – August 2011, at USD 5,957 million.

It was followed by Thailand (USD 355.85 million), Japan (USD 173.41 million), Singapore (USD 151.03 million), Republic of Korea (USD 36 million), Malaysia (USD 23.64 million) and Nepal (USD 1 million).

Export of cut and polished diamonds to US in the same period stood at USD 2330.28 million, and Belgium (a key market) in Europe at USD 1532.48 million.

UAE was a top exporter (USD 7789.25 million). Last fiscal, UAE emerged as the largest exporting destination with 47 per cent share, followed by Hong Kong with 22 per cent and USA with 11 per cent, as per GJEPC.