Crumbling carats: Surat diamond industry may suffer from coronavirus outbreak

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 06, 2020, 04.38 PM(IST)

This 37.30-carat?pink?diamond?is?expected?to?sell?at auction for between $20-30?million?in Geneva on November 15 Photograph:( Reuters )

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A month-long vacation has been declared by Hong Kong in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of the viral outbreak, and Indian merchants with offices in the area are returning to India. 

The diamond industry in the city of Surat will be one of many to be hit severely by the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. Situated in Western India, primarily in the State of Gujarat, the diamond industry is believed by experts to be on the verge of losing 8,000 crore rupees.

The principal reason for such a deafening blow is the fact that Hong Kong and China are instrumental to the diamond exports of India. Polished diamonds worth 50,000 crore rupees are exported from Surat to Hong Kong every year.

After reaching their destination, the diamonds are exported to different locations across the world in a seamless circuit. The virus presents a grave threat to this system, and by extension, the diamond trade.

A month-long vacation has been declared by Hong Kong in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of the viral outbreak, and Indian merchants with offices in the area are returning to India. Several industry professionals have also speculated the cancellation of an international jewellery exhibition in Hong Kong.

The exhibition is of pivotal importance, as it sets the tone for diamond orders for the rest of the year and diamantaires to depend on it for cutting edge technology, new designs for jewellery, and bulk orders - the most important aspect in any business.

The cancellation of this exhibition alone will be a huge blow for the diamond industry of Surat.