Rising tension between Israel and Palestine is not likely to have any adverse impact on the gem and jewellery industry's exports, GJEPC has said.
India has witnessed substantial exports of gem and jewellery to Israel, amounting to USD 1,279.76 million in 2022-23, according to data by the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
It is significant to note that Israel being a very important trading centre exports rough diamonds to the tune of USD 1,782.80 million, it added.
"Israel primarily serves as a re-export market. While the ongoing situation in Israel is of grave concern to us, we express our solidarity with the Israeli diamond trade during this hour of crisis for their nation. It is too early to definitively assess the impact and we are keeping a strict watch on the situation.
"We have not witnessed any disruption in the regular dealings and believe it is unlikely to significantly impact India's gem and jewellery trade with Israel. Nevertheless, we remain hopeful for a swift resolution and the return of peace at that very important geo-political and economic region," GJEPC chairman Vipul Shah told PTI.
GJEPC vice chairman Kirit Bhansali said the industry will not have much impact as from October 15 onwards, most of its members are planning to stop imports of rough due to high inventory.
"The industry will stop imports of roughs from October 15 till December 15 to ease domestic inventory. Also, we don't export much to Israel. We mainly import roughs and re-export. So, the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine will not impact the gem and jewellery in the country," he added.
Former GJEPC chairman and Kama Jewelry MD Colin Shah said the trade between India and Israel has fallen by almost 27 per cent from USD 2,794.39 million in 2021-22.
The imports and exports of gems and jewellery with Israel have recorded an annual decline of 42.3 per cent and 13.8 per cent, respectively, due to the high inventory situation in India, Shah noted.
The war situation might add to the already declining gems and jewellery trade between Israel and India, he added.
Exports of cut and polished diamonds (CPD) to Israel in FY23 was USD 1,203.73 million, recording a decline of 11.24 per cent year-on-year, GJEPC data stated.
From an import perspective, rough diamonds witnessed a decline of 52.79 per cent to USD 519.97 million in FY23.
On September 26, the high inventory situation compelled the gems and jewellery industry bodies to collectively appeal to its members to stop the import of rough diamonds for two months, starting from October 15 amid slowing global demand and rising inventories of domestic players.
"...demand for loose polished diamonds and jewellery from large consuming economies, such as the USA and China have been materially affected over the last many quarters, on the back of all-time highs of 2021 and 2022, with a visible slowdown in orders.
"As a result, our country's exports have declined by 25 per cent during January-August, with a similar trend in September. Due to such factors, our inventories in polished diamonds have increased over the past few months and prices are softer as an effect of this mismatch in demand vs supply," according to a circular.
The circular was collectively issued by the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Bharat Diamond Bourse, Surat Diamond Bourse, Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association and Surat Diamond Association.