India’s Diamond Industry: Back from the Dead

After enduring years of oversupplies, falling prices, and eroding confidence, India’s big diamond industry is counting on 1999 to bring a reversal of fortune. Key Indian manufacturers are serving notice on memo-dependent American buyers that the days of pushing out diamonds on long-term loan may be coming to an end. “Prices for most types of polished have stabilized, even rising in some areas, and there’s no longer the big supply excesses we once had, so there’s no longer the intense pressure to move goods. We now have a choice to walk away from some deals,” warns Latit Adani of M. Suresh Diamonds, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), a De Beers Diamond Trading Company sightholder and diamond jewelry manufacturer. Memo isn’t dead, of course, and neither are long payment terms—six-month or even eight-month terms are not uncommon. Many of the companies that Indian firms are eager to
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