Mumbai fair launches 2012 calendar, faces tough market
MUMBAI, January 7, 2012 – IIJS Signature launched the 2012 international jewellery trade fair calendar amid tough conditions in the domestic and international markets.
However, Indian jewellers talked of encouraging prospects in the key export markets of the United States and China, and said India’s decision to hallmark gold augured well for consumer confidence in the domestic market.
IIJS Signature trade fair, Mumbai, India, January 2012
Jewellers selling niche products at IIJS Signature were flourishing, while those who sell in bulk said they were not doing as well as at the IIJS show in August 2011, organisers said as IIJS Signature entered its second day.
Footfall was strong, but overall market conditions in India have suffered from the impact of a falling rupee and the rise in the price of precious materials.
“The conditions of the market are not so good,” Sanjay Kothari, vice-chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), told a news conference on the sidelines of IIJS Signature.
Kothari said volumes of fine jewellery sales had dropped in India in recent months because of the increase in prices of precious materials.
“Volumes are less because the prices of gold and diamonds have gone up,” he said.
In rupee terms, jewellery is more expensive.
“We are hoping to maintain the 2011 level for exports,” Kothari added, referring to the challenging global economic outlook.
Market conditions in the United States, a key market for Indian gem and jewellery exports, seem to be improving, GJEPC officials said.
“America is doing very well. The Christmas season was better,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman of the GJEPC.
He said China was a growth market, offering opportunities for collaboration with the Indian trade.
A delegation of senior officials from the Diamond Administration of China (DAC) visited India at the end of December and met GJEPC representatives to improve their understanding of Indian diamond manufacturing and to boost cooperation in the diamond business.
The delegation visited Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, one of the main diamond trading centres in India, and toured the customs office and diamond manufacturing unit to have a better understanding of the diamond manufacturing process in India.
Kothari said that in India, jewellery purchases for weddings would remain important even if this meant falling volumes.
“In India, to buy jewellery is a custom, so if there is a marriage, they (a couple) will buy less, but they will have to buy.”
Rajiv Jain said, “When we promote India, we say, ‘When you come to India, take a piece of jewellery as a souvenir.”
India’s decision to hallmark gold signalled a boost to consumer confidence in the world’s top gold consuming nation, GJEPC officials said.
“It is better for the consumer and consumer confidence,” Kothari said.
He said there were enough hallmarking centres in India to keep pace with demand.
Jain said there were no immediate plans to hallmark silver jewellery in India, but he said if such a move happened, he would welcome it because it would boost consumer confidence.
Kothari said he saw an opportunity to launch business-to-consumer events to boost jewellery sales to the final consumer, both in India and abroad.
IIJS SIGNATURE 2012
With over 10,000 visitors, 800 booths, and 450+ exhibitors, IIJS Signature 2012 has grown to more than double its size and much bigger than previous shows in Goa and Mumbai.
IIJS Signature showcases the best that India has to offer in design, craftsmanship and quality.
Varda Shine, CEO, Diamond Trading Company, and Rajiv Jain opened the event on January 6.
“The highly creative collections and designs on show, for the next few days will make it a fantastic exhibition,” Shine said.
IIJS Signature 2012 runs from January 6-9.