Chinese diamond demand may take time to shine again – ET Retail

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Kolkata: Chinese demand for cut and polished diamonds from India is unlikely to pick up soon even though Beijing has relaxed its zero-Covid policy as Chinese buyers did not strike major deals at Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in the first week of March.

If the Chinese buying does not pick up, then the overall cut and polished diamond exports – a major forex earner for the country – are likely to drop by 10% in 2023-24 compared to FY23, Vipul Shah, chairman of Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said.

That is because diamond dealers in the US – the world’s largest diamond market – are cautious due to lingering economic uncertainty there, exporters said. Retail jewellers have not replenished inventory as they usually do in the first quarter of the calendar year, which has added to the woes of the Indian diamond trade.

Diamond exporters are, however, hopeful that Chinese buyers may go on a “revenge buying frenzy” by May. At present, the Chinese seem to be keenly observing the price movement of small diamonds before making purchases, they said. “We are expecting that by the month of May, China will start buying diamonds,” Shah said. “The Covid norms have just come to an end in the country and people are getting back to normalcy. So, it may take some time for complete revival in demand.”

The overall gem and jewellery exports from the country surged 24% year on year at ₹28,832.86 crore last month from ₹23,326.80 crore in February 2022, as per figures released by GJEPC on Thursday.

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