Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diamond Industry in Surat: WDC Statement on Zimbabwe Diamonds a "Setback"

The World Diamond Council's official statement last week that Zimbabwe has not yet been cleared to export its diamonds, despite a recent consensus vote by the Kimberley Process that approved a modified version of the Jerusalem Agreement that included concessions on monitoring, has left Surat's diamond industry up in the air and with a shortage of rough diamonds.

The Times of India called the WDC statement a "setback" for the Surat diamond sector, which is the biggest importer of Zimbabwe diamonds in the world. An estimated 6 million carats of rough diamonds meant for Surat are currently held up, pending KP approval.

Vice Chairman of India's Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Sanjay Kothari said that Surat, facing a "severe shortage" of rough diamonds, had been "eagerly awaiting" the shipments from Zimbabwe.

Shanghavi Exports Chairman Chandrakant Shaghavi told the Times that the rough shortage had driven prices up 30% in 2010, and that the industry expected prices to continue to climb in 2011.

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