Coronavirus: Surat diamond industry likely to suffer huge loss of Rs 8,000 crore in February and March

WION Web Team Surat, India Feb 06, 2020, 11.35 AM(IST)

Experts are believing that the Surat diamond industry could face losses of Rs 8,000 cr. This is because Hong Kong and China are integral to India's diamond export. Polished diamonds of worth Rs 50,000 cr are exported from Surat to Hong Kong every year.

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Every year polished diamonds worth around Rs 50,000 crore are exported from Surat to Hong Kong every year.

The Surat diamond industry is likely to face a loss of around Rs 8,000 crore in next two months as Hong Kong which is a major export destination, has declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, say experts.

Every year polished diamonds worth around Rs 50,000 crore are exported from Surat to Hong Kong every year.

"That's around 37 per cent of the total exports from here. Now, due to coronavirus scare, Hong Kong has declared a month-long vacation. Gujarati traders having offices there are coming back to India," said Dinesh Navadiya, regional chairman in Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
 
If the situation does not improve, it will have a huge impact on the Surat diamond industry, which polishes 99 per cent of all rough diamonds imported in the country, he said.

"The Surat diamond industry is staring at a loss of around Rs 8,000 crore for February and March," he added.

Also read: Inside Surat's diamond industry

There is a possibility of cancellation of an international jewellery exhibition in Hong Kong to be held next month, due to the coronavirus scare, which would hit the jewellery business in Surat.

The response at this exhibition reportedly sets the tune for diamond orders for the rest of the year. Diamantaires depend on it for bulk orders as well as cutting edge technology and jewellery designs. The cancellation could be a huge blow for the industry.

Hong Kong has one of the world's busiest airports and is a major transit point for China.

It is also struggling with the virus outbreak, with 18 people testing positive for the disease, including one who died.

On Tuesday, health officials in Hong Kong warned there was now growing evidence of local transmissions cases where people have become infected without travelling to China.