Alarm bells have started ringing for diamantaires in world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat with Hong Kong's (HK) polished diamond imports falling to a significant 14 per cent year on year to $4.1 billion in the third quarter of 2012.
While the US still remains a large diamond jewellery consuming centre, there can be no doubt that India, China and HK are the centres of future for the diamond industry on all fronts - be it manufacturing, trading or consuming.
Already, HK is a significant partner for India. About 21 per cent of the polished diamond exports by the Indian diamond industry go to Hong Kong. The Diamond Federation of HK, China published data that showed that the polished diamond imports in Hong Kong have dropped 19 per cent in the third quarter of 2012.
HK imports roughly $16 billion worth of polished diamonds per annum and that about 80 per cent come from India. There are over 350 trading offices in HK and about 80 per cent of them are owned by Indians, especially the diamond traders from Surat and Mumbai.
HK is the biggest market for India after Dubai and US and that the drop in polished diamond imports may signal a tough business season ahead. The HK Jewellery and Gems event organized recently failed to please the global diamond industry with the demand for diamond jewellery diminishing amid the falling prices of polished diamonds.
"HK is the biggest export market for diamond industry and a slight fall in demand could result in heavy losses to the diamantaires in Surat," a DTC sightholder said.