NEW DELHI: Gems and jewellery exporters are pinning their hopes on the recovery in the Western markets ahead of Christmas, after witnessing a sharp decline in shipments for the last 11 months in a row.

The Indian jewellery export market has already started showing signs of improvement as the pace of decline in July-August was much lower than a sharp fall witnessed in the beginning of this fiscal.

Jewellery exports are likely to improve from January onwards as there are signs of recovery in Western and European markets, A. Sakthivel, President of Federation of Indian Exports Organisations, said. Jewellery exports shrank from the steep 34 per cent and 24 per cent in April and May, respectively to 2 per cent and 8 per cent in July and August, bringing relief to exporters ahead of Christmas.

These exports stood at $1.76 billion in August as compared to $1.92 billion a year-ago. Exports of cut and polished diamonds showed a drop of 24 per cent and coloured gemstones 15 per cent, while gold jewellery reversed the trend showing a growth of 40 per cent.