India’s rough diamond imports fell 4.7% in December from a year ago to $1.398 billion, a trade body said on Tuesday, as the scrapping of high value currency notes forced many small polishing units to idle their units.
India is a global diamond polishing hub where 14 out of every 15 rough diamonds in the world are polished.
The country’s exports of cut and polished diamonds jumped 22.5% in December to $1.478 billion, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council said in a statement.
“Demand for polished diamonds was good from the U.S. and European market for holiday season,” said a Mumbai-based exporter, who declined to be named.
In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes, or 86% of the value of cash in circulation, as part of a crackdown on corruption, tax evasion and militant financing.
The move disrupted diamond polishing in the country as small units mainly do business in cash.