The Indian gem and jewelry industry declined 18.88% in the second half of the 2008-9 fiscal year, according to the latest figures from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the Indian industry group.
The Council blamed the drop on the slowdown in the U.S. It noted that the SEEPZ at Mumbai, which is primarily dependent on the American market, saw exports decline 21% over the comparable period from the year before.
Exports of cut and polished diamonds saw an 8.24% decline, the Council said, and colored gemstone exports also decreased by 3.68% in dollar terms.
However, overall, the industry grew in dollar terms for the 2008-09 fiscal year, to $21 billion, from $20.8 billion the year before. The growth in the sector was primarily driven by gold jewelry, which increased 23.64% for the year.
“The industry has undergone challenging times in the 2008-09 fiscal year,” said Vasant Mehta, chairman of the GJEPC. “The U.S slowdown in the second half of 2009 affected the industry greatly and the gems and jewelry sector witnessed a decrease in exports in the last two quarters of the year. In spite of slowdown in H2 the industry could achieve a flat growth and performed reasonably close to its target of $21.9 billion.”