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India's silver jewellery exports gain momentum

October 30, 2014 11:34 IST

Silver jewellery

Image: Silver jewellery. Photograph: Reuters

Steep fall in silver price has made silver jewellery more attractive in the overseas markets, especially the United States and the European Union, where sterling silver ornaments replaced white gold jewellery in the last few years.

When overall gems and jewellery exports remained resilient so far this year on global economic uncertainty, shipment of silver jewellery witnessed a phenomenal growth so far this year.

In September alone, shipment of silver jewellery from India shot up by a staggering 75 per cent to Rs 1,543.96 crore ($253.69 million) this year versus Rs 925.84 crore ($145.23 million) in the same month last year.

“Jewellery consumers in the United States and the European Union have opted to buy sterling silver ornaments since gold price peaked in 2011.

"The silver manufacturing technology with intrinsic design and modern look was also procured by Indian jewellers from the perennial leaders in this field like Italy.

Silver rupee notes

Image: Silver rupee notes. Photograph: Reuters

"Thus, now we can compete with global leaders in silver jewellery, which helped receive good orders,” said Pankaj Parekh, vice-chairman of the apex trade body the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

India’s silver jewellery exports achieved about 73 per cent of the last year’s figure in the first six months this year.

Data compiled by GJEPC showed a massive growth of around 32 per cent in India’s silver jewellery exports at Rs 6,306.29 crore ($1,044.87 million) between April - September 2014 compared to Rs 4,680.37 crore ($793.68 million) in the corresponding period last year.

While gold prices have declined by 36 per cent to trade currently at $1,228 an oz from its lifetime peak of $1,917 an oz in August 2011, silver fell by a steep 64 per cent to $17.25 on Tuesday from its all time high of $48.44 an oz on April 28, 2011.

Silver bars

Image: Silver bars. Photograph: Reuters

India’s overall gems and jewellery exports witnessed a marginal 3.15 per cent growth to Rs 1,18,981.33 crore ($19,756.89 million) between April -- September 2014 compared with Rs 1,15,344.72 crore ($19,498.80 million) in the same period previous year.

"We have received huge orders for our silver artefacts from overseas markets.

"Looking at opportunity in exports and domestic markets, we are looking to set up silver jewellery manufacturing unit shortly," said Rahul Mehta, managing director, Silver Emporium, one of India's largest silver dealers, in Mumbai.

Dilip Kumar Jha in Mumbai
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