gold jewellery gold exports
Gold jewellery exports from India jumped 75 percent in Feb. 2016 even as overall exports declined 5.66 percent. Picture: Gold jewellery is displayed at a shop in New Delhi, India, March 1, 2016.Reuters

Export of gold jewellery rose 74.43 percent to $844.59 million in February 2016 from $484.20 million in the corresponding month last year. Overall gem and jewellery exports from India stood at $3.91 billion in February 2016, up 12.64 percent from $3.47 billion exported in February 2015. 

Export of cut and polished diamonds also registered a modest 1.9 percent increase during the month, according to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), which said diamond exports were up at $2.34 billion as against $2.29 billion in February 2015, "after a sustained period of decline." 

Silver exports more than doubled to $266.7 million in February 2016 versus $106.34 million in February 2015, the GJEPC said.

The coloured gemstone segment saw a 3.32 percent decline to $65.20 million last month as against $67.44 million in February 2015.

Imports in February

Gold imports into India dropped 29.49 percent to $1.39 billion in February 2016 from $1.98 billion in February 2016.

Import of cut and polished diamonds declined by about 45 percent to $222.11 million in February 2016 from $405.28 million a year earlier. 

Rough (diamond) imports during February 2016 rose 37 percent to $1.55 billion from $1.13 billion in Feb. 2015, the GJEPC said.

Cumulative exports decline

The gems and jewellery sector, which accounts for about 15 percent of India's overall exports, saw cumulative exports for the 11-month period (April 2015 to February 2016) decline to $35.70 billion from $37.8 billion in the first 11 months of 2014-15, according to data from the Union commerce and industry ministry.

However, according to the GJEPC, the corresponding figures are $35.01 billion (FY2016) and $36.55 billion (FY2015).

Overall trade data

India's overall merchandise exports for April 2015 to February 2016 stood at about $238.41 billion and imports at $351.80 billion, resulting in trade deficit of $111.38 billion. 

Asia's third-largest economy is likely to end the current financial year with merchandise exports worth $260 billion, which would be $50 billion less than the previous financial year's of $310 billion, according to S C Ralhan, president, FIEO.

In February 2016, exports fell 5.66 percent to $20.73 billion, while imports dipped 5.03 percent to $27.28 billion. 

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