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China lockdowns hit lab-grown diamond output

Lockdowns in China have affected production of lab-grown diamonds in India, as the supply of the main raw material, graphite, has come to a grinding halt.

China is the only supplier in the world for the kind of graphite that is transitioned to diamonds in the lab under high pressure and high temperature (HPHT).

The supply constraint has come at a time when India is witnessing rapid growth in the production of lab-grown diamonds - output this month was projected to be 3.6 million carats, more than double a year earlier. These diamonds produced in India are exported to the US, Singapore, Israel, Belgium and China. In fiscal year 2022, exports of lab-grown diamonds totalled Rs 9,764.53 crore, more than double the previous year's Rs 4,688.31 crore.

According to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council's projection, India's exports of lab-grown diamonds may go up to ₹40,000 crore in the next five years.

"This (shortage of graphite) is a problem that the producers are facing. But we are hopeful that it will be sorted out soon," said Shashikanth Dalichand Shah, chairperson of the Lab Grown Diamond & Jewellery Promotion Council.

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