Surat's Diamond Industry Urged to Halt Rough Diamond Imports Amidst Decline in Demand
Leaders and Organizations Collaborate to Strengthen Market Conditions and Support Gem Artists
SURAT: A collective decision to suspend the import of rough diamonds until December 15th has been proposed, following a virtual meeting involving major organizations including the Gem and Jewelry Promotion Council. This move is intended to adapt to the current challenges in Surat's diamond sector and to ensure continuous employment for gem artists leading up to Diwali.
The diamond industry, which saw an 18% decline in imports and a 28% fall in exports over the past eighteen months, is experiencing the consequences of reduced global demand. "The slump in the diamond market over the last one and a half years has been evident in the declining numbers," stated a representative from Diamond Leading.
Reiterating the impact of the voluntary import stoppage, Dinesh Navadiya, Chairman of the Surat Diamond Institute, referenced the economic downturn of 2008 and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. During these challenging periods, the Gem and Jewelry Promotion Council (GJEPC) successfully lobbied key industry players to voluntarily halt rough diamond imports, ultimately benefiting the diamond sectors.
In the recent meeting attended by nearly 300 diamond industrialists and several leading diamond entities, including the Surat Diamond Burse, Bombay Diamond Merchant Association, and Bharat Diamond Burse, an appeal was made to pause rough diamond imports for two months starting from October 15th.
Navadiya also highlighted the potential benefits of this decision, "With a reduction in rough supply and production, we aim to balance the international market's demand and supply. This can potentially stabilize the falling prices of cut and polished diamonds."
Furthermore, in light of upcoming Diwali celebrations, which typically sees a 20 to 22-day holiday period in the diamond industry, the import suspension will cover the festive break and an additional fifteen days. Industry insiders anticipate that this strategic pause might foster a rejuvenated atmosphere in the diamond market.
The meeting also emphasized the well-being and employment of gem artists. Two gem artist associations conveyed their apprehensions regarding the industry's future. Addressing these concerns, attendees were unanimously advised to sustain ongoing production levels in diamond factories.
Navadiya commented on the industry's resilience, "The industry has never acted in isolation. The Gem and Jewelry Promotion Council, along with other stakeholders, are working tirelessly to ensure the gem artists remain employed through Diwali, even if it means sourcing alternative diamonds like CVD."
The duration of the Diwali holidays, whether extended or shortened, will hinge on the industry's health leading up to the festival. The primary goal remains the well-being of the diamond industry and its gem artists.