India Has Bright Prospects in Global Silver Market

There’s a Swedish proverb which says, “To speak is silver, to keep silent is gold.” But India has a proverb which contradicts the Swedish thought. Indians feel that speech is key to success. Silent person can never sell his goods.

The art of India’s silver artisans have started to speak for itself which is now attracting interests of global silver markets. Vice Chairman of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Mr. Pankaj Parekh says, “Jewellery lovers in the US and the other nations of European Union have opted to buy sterling silver ornaments since gold prices raised high in 2011. The silver manufacturing technology with core designing skill and modern touch was also procured by Indian jewellers from the persistent leaders in this field like Italy. Thus, now we can compete with global leaders in silver jewellery, which has helped India receive good orders.”

According to the latest figures made available the GJEPC, sharp fall in silver prices has made silver jewellery preferable among the overseas consumers, especially from the United States and the European Union where sterling silver ornaments replaced white gold jewellery during last few years. While India’s overall gems and jewellery exports remained robust on global economic uncertainty, shipments of silver jewellery have witnessed a phenomenal growth in 2014. In September 2014 alone, shipments of silver jewellery shot up by a staggering 75% to Rs 1,543.96 crore ($253.69 million) this year versus Rs 925.84 crore ($145.23 million) in the same month of 2013.

The figures further indicate that India’s silver jewellery exports achieved about 73% of the last 2013’s figure in the first six months of 2014. Data compiled by GJEPC shows a massive growth of around 32% 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) during the same period last year.

While gold prices on one hand have gone down by 36% to trade currently at $1,228 an oz from its lifetime peak of $1,917 an oz in August 2011, silver prices on the other hand came down by a steep 64% to $17.25 recently from its all-time high of $48.44 an oz on April 28, 2011.

As far as India’s imports of gems and jewellery are concerned, they have fallen by 9% to Rs. 1,85,883 crore in 2013-14 with a sharp decline in shipments of gold bars and jewellery due to government curbs. The country had imported gems and jewellery worth Rs. 2,04,253 crore in the previous financial year but inward shipments of rough and polished diamonds remained firm, according to the figures.

The data shows that import of gold bars went down by 47% to Rs. 32,540 crore in 2013-14 from Rs. 61,431 crore during 2012-13. Inward shipments of gold jewellery came down sharply to Rs. 3,497 crore from Rs. 25,037 crore in the review period. Import of silver bars fell to Rs. 222 crore in 2013-14 from Rs. 377.71 crore in the previous year.

However, the import of rough diamonds increased 24% to Rs. 1,00,374 crore from Rs. 80,992 crore in the previous financial year. Exports of cut and polished diamonds rose by 31% to Rs 39,586 crore from Rs. 30,200 crore, the GJEPC data indicates.

Summing up, Mr. Parekh says, “India’s prospect for silver jewellery appears bright in 2014-15. There is a colossal demand for silver jewellery in the global market and thus the sector is expecting a growth of 10% in the exports this year compared to 2013-14.”

Posted by Suresh Chotai