Jewellery loses its shine this Christmas


THE country’s gems and jewellery exports are facing the heat of economic meltdown in the US and Europe, as the Christmas orders are down by 15-25% this year, industry leaders said.
“Christmas sales are down 15 to 25% as the major market, the US, is reeling under the financial crisis,” Gitanjali group chairman and managing director Mehul Choksi said, adding that this trend is likely to continue for the next full year.
In the last eight months, there has been a decline in orders as also more of cancellations. The declining trend had begun well before the christmas season.
“There was an average reduction of over 20% in orders for the period April-October 2008,” the gems and jewellery export promotion council said, adding that from November onward, the situation became worse as shipments for November were down 34.25%.
At the manufacturing level, exports of cut and polished diamonds are down 20.18% compared to the same period last year. “The industry has already cut back production by over 25%,” gems & jewellery export promotion council chairman Vasant Mehta said.
The industry is largely dependent upon the US economy and Europe, besides Hong Kong, UAE and Belgium.

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