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Rough diamond imports likely to have slowed in May

Date: 14-06-2019
Subject: Rough diamond imports likely to have slowed in May
Mumbai: Indian rough diamond imports might have further slowed in May, according to industry and banking circles. And one of the key reasons is the simmering US-China trade tensions. 

India cuts and polishes 10 out of 11 of the world’s rough diamonds. The US consumes around 55 per cent of global polished supply, and China and Hong Kong 12 per cent. Additionally, China-HK buys an estimated 10-15 per cent of Indian polished diamonds for manufacturing studded jewellery, which is then exported to the US. 

“China-HK market for the past one month has been adopting a wait and see approach on much of the 15 per cent it buys from India to export (as jewellery) to the US,” said a leading banker to the industry. “If Trump and Xi reach an agreement that averts further tariffs on China imports, that could revive the purchase of polished diamonds.” 

A diamantaire in Mumbai’s trading hub Bharat Diamond Bourse confirmed the slowdown in rough imports without specifying the quantity. “There are global reasons for the slowdown in polished purchases, which are impacting India’s imports of rough diamonds,” he added. 

Chinese president Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump are expected to talk trade issues at the G-20 summit in Japan this month end. If tensions spiral, jewellery exports from China to the US could be impacted, creating an opportunity for India. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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