The second half of this year may see 20 per cent increase in gold imports to 300 tonnes over the first six months, a bullion association has said.

“Imports in the second half of the calender year will be around 300 tonnes, higher than what we have imported in first half, which was 250 tonnes,” Bombay Bullion Association President Mr Prithviraj Kothari said.

He further said the import volumes would be dependent on the price of gold in domestic market.

Imports could rise if domestic gold prices stay below Rs 30,000 per 10 grams, he said.

Kothari, however, said for the full year it would be less than 30 per cent from 2011.

When asked about July consumption, he said it would be dull because of lack of marriages and festival season but the demand could pick up from August.

Earlier this year, the government had changed the duty structure on gold and silver from specific to value-linked, making precious metals more expensive.

The import duty on gold was fixed at 2 per cent of the value, instead of the earlier rate of Rs 300 per 10 grams. On silver, the import duty was pegged at 6 per cent, as against Rs 1,500 per kg earlier.

In 2011, about 1,037 tonnes of gold was available in India, the world’s biggest consumer, of which 967 tonnes was imported and the rest was from other sources like recycled, according to the World Gold Council.

(This article was published on July 1, 2012)
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