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Imports of cheap imitation jewellery from China may come down

Retail Jeweller India



KOLKATA: Imports of cheap imitation jewellery from China may come down as sentiment towards Chinese products has turned negative in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Imitation Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association (IJMA) has asked its members to shun imports from China, which had captured 35-40% of India’s Rs 35,000 crore imitation jewellery market.

Some imitation jewellery sellers are now looking to import from South Korea, where prices are on a par with those of imitation jewellery manufactured in India.

“We recently had a meeting with imitation jewellery manufacturers and sellers. We have asked them to stop importing jewellery from China,” said Nagendra Mehta, secretary of Mumbai-based IJMA. “Prime minister Narendra Modi has asked the industry to be ‘vocal for local’. So we have urged our members to ramp up their manufacturing and introduce new technology so that the dependence on cheap Chinese imports can be stopped.”

Bangles, earrings, chains and necklaces made of base metals such as copper, brass, zinc and tin are imported from China. Mehta alleged that there is rampant under-invoicing by importers. “For instance, earrings made of brass metal with other value addition such as plating, minakari and packing are imported at $1.5-2 (Rs 100-150) per kg, whereas the base metal of earrings, made of brass, is priced at Rs 400 per kg. This clearly indicates that it is not possible to sell goods at a cost below the the cost of raw material, which in this case is brass. We have heard that a kilogram of earrings has been imported at Rs 8 per kg. We have brought this to the notice of the government,” he said.

India’s major imitation jewellery manufacturing hubs are located in Mumbai and Midnapore and Hooghly districts of West Bengal. “We manufacture traditional imitation jewellery. But sales have dwindled over the years as cheap imports from China flooded the market. But now there is a growing feeling among people to boycott Chinese products. We are hoping the situation will improve for us,” said Dipankar Jana, an imitation jewellery manufacturer from Singur in Hooghly district.

Rajesh Chheda, partner of Mumbai-based Tiptop Point, an imitation jewellery firm, said, “We will stop importing from China and look at Korea for sourcing modern imitation jewellery.”

Like Chheda, Jai Prakash, a Delhi-based imitation jewellery seller said he was looking at South Korea for importing jewellery.

Mehta said South Korean jewellery is expensive and therefore Indian manufacturers will get a level playing field.

Courtesy: Economic Times

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