India's cut and polished diamond exports in 2023/24 plunged 27.5% from a year ago to a $15.97 billion due to sluggish demand from the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates, a leading trade body said on Monday.

The fall in exports forced the world's biggest diamond polisher to reduce imports of rough diamonds by 18% from a year ago to $14.27 billion in the financial year ended March 31, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said.

In response to lower demand for exports, the industry voluntarily suspended rough diamond imports for two months from Oct. 15, 2023.

The suspension of rough diamond imports helped address demand-supply imbalances, leading to a positive impact on polished diamond prices in the March quarter, said Vipul Shah, chairman of the GJEPC.

"GJEPC is discussing with global diamond miners to increase investments in enhancing generic promotion of diamonds and diamond jewellery in the United States, China, Middle East including India," Shah said.

India's plain gold jewellery exports surged nearly 62% in 2023/24 to $6.79 billion as shipments to United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than doubled due to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, signed between India and the UAE, Shah said. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, Editing by Louise Heavens)