Surat diamond industry badly hit by corona virus scare

Surat: The deadly coronavirus, which has already claimed 250 lives, is likely to have a major impact on the famous diamond industry of Surat that exports and imports diamonds from Hong Kong.

This is because the Hong Kong Government has announced a month-long vacation in the country in view of the scare created by the virus.

Surat imports rough gems from Hong Kong and exports polished diamonds there. Industry sources said as much as 37 per cent of the diamonds exported there from the country are from Surat.

Jewellery made from the polished diamonds is also being exported to Hong Kong from Surat.

With Hong Kong declaring a holiday till March 3, the Surat diamond industry would suffer a huge blow. The Gujarati businessmen in that country are also returning to India because of the vacation.

On the other hand, industry sources informed that the international jewellery exhibition in Hong Kong scheduled to be held in March is also likely to be postponed because of the corona scare.

Regional Chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Dinesh Navadiya told a section of the media that earlier a local agitation in Hong Kong had hit the diamond industry and now with the coronavirus scare, it would have a major impact and the losses could run into several hundred crore rupees. Industry sources said it is a bit early to quantify the exact losses.

Not only the diamond industry, even the exports of sesame and cummins from Saurashtra to China have been badly impacted since January 18. As many as 15 lakh gunny bags of cummins and 85,000 tonnes of sesame are being exported every year from the Saurashtra region to China.