Studded Silver Jewellery Exports Take Off Amid Pandemic Gloom

Silver exports, the standout growth category in FY 2020-21, has the potential to grow exponentially if certain issues are ironed out.

The pandemic has affected the overall gem and jewellery exports from the country. Most of the products are showing negative growth in the financial year 2020-21. However, silver jewellery is an exception. Silver jewelleryexports from April 2020 to March 2021 amounted to $2.324 billion, a growth of 39% as compared to $1.676 billion for the same period last year.

FY 2020 saw a greater growth in silver exports. It had registered a significant growth of 101.47% from US$837 million in FY2019 to US$1687 million in FY2020. Over the decade, exports of silver jewellery have observed to be doubled from US$569 million in FY2011 to US$1687 million in FY2020.

Country wise Silver Jewellery Exports April 2020 to January 2021 compared to the same period last year (US$ In Million)

S.No.CountryApr-Jan  2020 (R)Apr-Jan  2021 (F)%Growth
1HONG KONG694.061,039.3149.74
2U S A282.25239.31-15.21
3U K46.8638.5-17.84
5U ARAB EMTS33.313.81-58.53

Source: DGCI&S

Silver Jewellery Exports for FY 2021

  MonthsGross Exports FY2021 US$ million% Growth /Decline    
April to March2324.3938.61

India’s Exports of Silver Jewellery FY2011-FY2020

Silver Jewellery Export Markets

Speaking about the growth in silver jewellery in FY 2021, Rambabu Gupta, Convener, Silver Jewellery Panel, GJEPC, said,“India has an edge over other manufacturing centres as the labour charges in India are lower than other countries. And secondly, whenever there is a recession-like situation, like now, people don’t buy expensive jewellery and since silver is the second precious metal, the demand for silver increases. However, the growth in silver jewellery is mainly attributed to the silver studded jewellery. Earlier, we only used semi-precious stones in silver studded jewellery, but since the last 3 to 4 years, we have been using precious stones and diamonds, which has increased the value of silver-studded jewellery.”

“America is the biggest buyer of silver jewellery in the world. Lately it has been noticed that America is more interested in doing business with India when it comes to Silver jewellery. India’s silver exports to the USA accounted for USD 251.25 million 2020-21.”

Rahul Mehta, Managing Director, Silver Emporium said, “In terms of growth what you see currently is just the beginning; the sector has the potential to grow multi-fold. GJEPC is already doing a great job, but more concentration is required on silver for exploring new markets, finding new trends, easing out duty drawbacks, which is the biggest challenge.  I have lost several orders due to the duty drawback because the kind of documentation that is required makes it impossible. So, if few of major concerns of the industry are taken care of then the sector can grow manifold in the future.”

Rambabu Gupta further comments, “The growth in silver exports is mainly from Special Economic Zones (SEZs). However, Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) units have experienced a fall in silver exports. One of the reasons is, duty drawback for silver jewellery is not announced since July 2020 and exporters are suffering heavy losses. Rate difference between India and International is Rs. 7000 to 7500, where the duty draw back from last one year is Rs. 4150 only. Hence, full duty needs to be refunded to boost exports from the country.”

“It should also be noted that the direct import of precious metal viz silver bars is possible in SEZs, but not in the case of DTAs. As per an RBI notification, making an advance payment for imports of silver metals is also very difficult,” he added.

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