Russian raw diamonds account for 40% of the diamond market volume and about 30% in value . The $18 billion trade is being waged by the war with Ukraine .
MUMBAI (MUMBAI) — Large diamond factories in Surat have extended the working week to three-four days, while smaller ones have shuttered, owing to a shortage of raw diamonds from Russias mines.In Surat, nine out of ten rough diamonds sold in India are polished.The majority of India's diamond trade is made up of Russian raw diamonds, which are usually small, accounting for 40% of the diamond market volume and about 30% in value.This $18 billion trade is now being waged by the war with Ukraine.In addition, since the SWIFT alternative for rouble payment was not implemented, Alrosa, Russia's mining company, cancelled orders by April 2022.SWIFT is a payment platform that allows banks around the world to collaborate quickly and effectively about cross-border payments.Russia imports small and medium-sized stones worth close to $5 billion.They are most commonly used in wedding jewelry or as a centrepiece or a solitaire. Some of them are working for four days, some for three, according to Ashok Gajera, managing director of Laxmi Diamonds, a major supplier of polished diamonds to the United States and Europe.Since the Covid setback, the industry was able to participate in the Las Vegas show, one of the world's biggest, at a time when it was in demand.In addition, the wedding season in the United States is approaching, and over half of the polished diamonds used there are imported from India.We have informed the ministry. If it persists, they will be compelled to lay off workers.According to Vipul Shah, vice-chairman of India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the government should intervene.The workers are a cautious bunch, according to Priyank Dave, a manager in a Surat diamond factory.Lunch breaks used to be short, because the bell would ring even as we were already washing our hands before returning to our work stations. On certain days, there is nothing to do.Since the war started, the cost of diamonds had increased 18-20%, but it stabilized in April, which was considered a tumultuous month in diamond sales.The shortfall has however pushed up prices by 8-10%.Prices will skyrocket if the shortage persists, according to both Gajera and Shah.