New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Exports of gems and jewellery grew 9.5 per cent to about USD 29 billion during April-January 2016-17, driven largely by demand in India’s major markets like the US.

In April-January period of the previous fiscal, exports from the sector stood at USD 26.5 billion, according to the data from Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

Gems and jewellery contribute about 14 per cent to the country’s overall exports.

The rise in exports during the ten-month period of the last fiscal was mainly supported by cut and polished diamond.

It rose to USD 18.5 billion during the period as compared to USD 16.5 billion a year ago.

Exports of silver jewellery grew by 20 per cent to USD 2.94 billion during the period of last fiscal.

An official said that the overall exports of the country has started registering positive growth and the main contributors include gems and jewellery shipments.

Shipments of gold jewellery, however, contracted to USD 3 billion during the period under review from USD 3.13 billion a year ago.

Exports of gold medallion and coins too dipped to USD 4.32 billion in April-January 2016-17.

According to the GJEPC data, imports of rough diamonds rose by 26 per cent to about USD 14 billion in April-January 2017.

Imports of gold bars too grew to USD 3.67 billion.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.