India’s polished-diamond exports grew 8% in March, according to data the nation’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) released Friday.

Shipments increased to $2.03 billion year on year for the month, with the volume of exports falling 8% to 2.8 million carats, the GJEPC figures showed. The average price of exports jumped 18% to $721 per carat.

Polished imports slumped 34% to $192 million, resulting in net polished exports — calculated as polished exports minus polished imports — rising 16% to $1.83 billion.

Rough imports climbed 5% to $1.68 billion, while rough exports fell 24% to $140 million. Net rough imports, representing rough imports minus rough exports, went up 9% to $1.54 billion.

India’s net diamond account — total rough and polished exports minus total imports — leaped 76% to $293 million in March.

In the January-to-March period, polished exports increased 11% to $6.54 billion, while polished imports slipped 24% to $487 million, according to Rapaport calculations. Net polished exports climbed 15% to $6.05 billion.

Rough imports rose 10% to $4.8 billion for the three months, with rough exports sliding 25% to $357 million. Net rough imports grew 14% to $4.44 billion. The country’s net diamond account increased 18% to $1.61 billion for the period.

During the Indian fiscal year that ended March 31, polished exports increased 4% to $23.73 billion, while total gem and jewelry exports fell 5% to $40.97 billion, the GJEPC added.

With changing lifestyles and improvement in living standards, the gems and jewelry sector is likely to grow at a rapid pace,” said Pramod Agrawal, chairman of the trade body. The GJEPC expects the industry’s workforce to expand by an extra three million people by 2022, he added.