India's gems and jewellery exports fell 40.63 per cent in June, owing to weak demand from major destinations such as the US and the European Union. In rupee terms, overall jewellery exports fell 38.12 per cent to Rs 13,895.87 crore, against Rs 22,456.62 crore in June 2012.
Data compiled by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council showed shipments of ornaments nosedived to $2,379.44 million in June from a staggering $8,512.94 million in the corresponding month last year. However, exports of cut and polished diamonds rose 22 per cent to $1,478.81 million from $1,212.29 million in June 2012.
Restrictions on gold imports, proved a hurdle for jewellery exporters. Owing to low availability of gold (banks allowed gold imports only on a consignment basis and increased import duty), gold jewellery exports fell a staggering 73 per cent to $556.81 million from $2,062.32 million in June 2012. In rupee terms, these exports plunged 72 per cent to Rs 3,251.80 crore from Rs 11,555.17 crore in June 2012.
The gold medallions and coins segment was also hit by the government's curbs on gold imports. Not surprisingly, exports from this segment were completely wiped out in June, against $513.29 million (Rs 2,875.96 crore) worth of exports in June 2012.
In addition to raising import duty on gold by two per cent to eight per cent early this financial year, the Centre also barred sales of gold coins and bars by banks to control the country's burgeoning current account deficit.