New Delhi: Exports of gems and jewellery grew 11.7 percent to USD 11.4 billion during the first four months of the current fiscal, driven largely by demand in India's major markets like the US.
In April-July period of the last fiscal, exports from the sector were at USD 10.21 billion, according to the data from Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
Gems and jewellery contribute about 14 percent to the country's overall exports.
The rise in April-July was mainly supported by cut and polished diamond exports. It rose to USD 7.25 billion during the period from USD 6.89 billion a year ago.
Exports of silver jewellery grew by 51 percent to USD 1.30 billion during the four months period of this fiscal.
"Demand is gradually picking up in markets like the US, which is helping in recording growth in exports in the sector," an official said.
Shipments of gold jewellery however contracted by 25.13 percent to USD 1 billion during the period under review, from USD 1.36 billion a year ago.
Exports of gold medallion and coins too dipped by 9.51 percent to USD 1.48 billion.
The government is hoping that incentives such as 3 percent interest subsidy and enhanced rate for duty drawback would further help contain the decline in exports.
According to GJEPC data, imports of rough diamonds rose by 13.27 percent to USD 6 billion in April-July 2016. Imports of gold bars too grew by about 40 percent to USD 1.72 billion.
After rising for the first time in 18 months in June, exports shrank again in July, contracting 6.84 percent due to decline in shipments of engineering goods and petroleum products.
Gold imports more than halved to USD 1.08 billion in the month.