TRADE FAIRS – Mumbai IIJS Premiere show packed with buyers; strong outlook for Indian market in run-up to Diwali

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By David Brough

MUMBAI – The IIJS Premiere show (August 3-8, 2023) was packed with buyers, signalling good prospects for the Indian jewellery market during the run-up to Diwali although the export outlook is challenging due to a slowdown in the United States.

TRADE FAIRS – Mumbai IIJS Premiere show packed with buyers; strong outlook for Indian market in run-up to Diwali

Organisers expected 50,000 crore rupees (USD $5.9 billion) of business to be done and predicted attendance by more than 42,000 buyers. Corridors and stands were packed with buyers from the outset.

TRADE FAIRS – Mumbai IIJS Premiere show packed with buyers; strong outlook for Indian market in run-up to Diwali

Many of the buyers were retailers and wholesalers from across India, visiting the country’s biggest jewellery show.

Organisers from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the state-backed body that drives exports, spoke of buoyant expectations for gemstone and jewellery demand in India during the season leading up to Diwali this year.

“We foresee a good Diwali season,” GJEPC Chairman Vipul Shah told a press briefing.

Demand for diamonds in the United States had slowed this year after a demand surge in 2022, said Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President of Diamond Trading, De Beers Group.

TRADE FAIRS – Mumbai IIJS Premiere show packed with buyers; strong outlook for Indian market in run-up to Diwali

Paul Rowley (holding picture frame)

Several jewellers spoke of a challenging market in the United States, which accounts for around US$20 billion, or a third of Indian gem and jewellery exports.

Vipul Shah said in his address to the inauguration ceremony that GJEPC was now looking to boost exports in markets such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

He also said he had high hopes for the future operations of the Surat Diamond Bourse, located in a vast area of land on the edge of India’s diamond manufacturing hub in Gujarat, four hours by train from Mumbai. 

The office complex, billed as the largest in the world, is expected to be completed and officially opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year.  

A well-attended seminar looking at the outlook for natural diamond jewellery, organised by the show’s Knowledge Partner Venus Jewel, a Surat-based natural diamonds manufacturer, projected a bright future for natural diamond jewellery sales despite the growth in uptake of lab-grown diamond jewellery.

Speakers in the panel, including Richa Singh who heads the Indian branch of the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), spoke of the meaningful and enduring value of natural diamond jewellery gifting.

TRADE FAIRS – Mumbai IIJS Premiere show packed with buyers; strong outlook for Indian market in run-up to Diwali

The natural and lab-grown diamond markets will likely continue to grow as completely separate segments, with lab-grown diamond prices forecast to fall as production, much of it centred in India, ramps up.

The panel was chaired by Venus Jewel partner, Devansh Shah.