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India’s rough diamond imports drop 4.7% in December: Trade body

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.

business Updated: Jan 17, 2017 18:51 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Mumbai
diamond import,Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council,Narendra Modi
Scrapping of high value currency notes has forced many small polishing units to idle their units. (Reuters Photo)

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.

First Published: Jan 17, 2017 18:50 IST