Beijing: China imported a record $77.91 mn (Rs336 crore approx.) worth of diamonds in the first quarter of the year, registering a glittering growth of 170% over the same period last year, signalling huge opportunities for Indian exporters.
Shanghai Diamond Exchange imported about $76 mn worth of refined diamonds from January to March, accounting for 97.6% of the total, for an increase of 188% as compared to the same period last year.
China imported diamonds equivalent to $34.9 mn in March alone, a rise of 257% from the same month last year, Xinhua news agency quoted statistics from the Shanghai Joint Administrative Office for Diamond Trading as saying.
The Shanghai Diamond Exchange is now the only channel by which ommonly-traded diamonds can legally flow in and out of China.
On July 1, 2006, China scrapped value added tax on imported uncut diamonds, and lowered the tax rate on imported refined diamonds from 17% to 4% in a move designed to cut “widespread smuggling” of the precious stone, especially from Hong Kong.
In the latter half of 2006, China’s refined diamond imports jumped 194% to $147 mn, according to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange.
China’s impressive growth in the diamond sector confirmed a recent analysis of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).