G. Gurumurthy

Coimbatore, Jan. 25

THE domestic bullion trade has seen a drop of 25-30 per cent in the past three months but the World Gold Council's (WGC) Indian chapter hopes the country's gold trade will overcome the sluggish trade condition to keep up its annual growth rate of 10 per cent for the current calendar year too.

"The bullion trade has been recording consistently 10 per cent growth in the past two years and during the first six months in 2005, we had a 52 per cent growth. But the set back in the sale is seen only in the last three months due to the highly volatile bullion prices," said Mr K. Shivram, WGC Vice-President.

Southern States accounted for the bulk of the gold consumption in the country with Tamil Nadu topping in consumption at 40 per cent of the total gold transactions. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka follow Tamil Nadu in that order.

Mr Shivram put the total annual gold demand in the country at 800 tonnes.

The current volatility in bullion market, according to Mr Chris Kenny, Director, Global Markets of South African gold refining company, Rand Refinery Ltd, is on account of the weakening dollar, heavy covering of bullion by central banks in many countries and investment demand.

Our Mumbai Bureau reports

: Silver prices jumped up, while gold moved up further on the bullion market.

Chennai:

Bar silver: Rs 14,100; retail silver (per gm): Rs 15.05; Standard gold: Rs 8,120; retail ornament gold (22 carat per gm): Rs 752.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 26, 2006)
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