Gold demand in the June-ended quarter was up 43 per cent to 171 tonne against 120 tonne reported in the same period last year on the back of buying for wedding and festival season. Similarly, jewellery demand increased 49 per cent to 140 tonne (94 tonne) on a lower base as the demand was affected by the second wave of Covid-19 last year.

Investment in the yellow metal was up 20 per cent to 30 tonne (25 tonne).

In value terms, demand increased 54 per cent to ₹79,270 crore (₹51,540 crore) while that of jewellery was up 60 per cent to ₹65,140 crore (₹40,610 crore). Investments rose 29 per cent to ₹14,140 crore (₹10,930 crore).

Gold imports jumped 34 per cent to 170 tonne (132 tonne) and recycling increased 18 per cent to 23 tonne (20 tonne).

Prices were up 8 per cent at ₹46,403 per 10 grams against ₹43,077 recorded in same period last year.

On a sequential basis, it rose two per cent from ₹45,434 per 10 gram registered in March quarter.

According to Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO-India, World Gold Council, Akshaya Tritiya and wedding season gave a boost to the sales that were dented by Covid pandemic in March quarter.

He further observed that volatile equity market and expectation of high inflation spooking economic growth resulted in safe haven investment in gold.

However, the demand for gold in second half of this year faces downside risks due to uncertainty over the economic outlook, higher import duty and the possibility of additional curbs on gold buying in the wake of fall in rupee value against the US dollar.

Demand forecast

The WGC has retained its demand forecast at 750-800 tonnes for this year despite the demand hovering at 306 tonne in the first half of 2022. “We are not revising our outlook for the entire year as there too many moving parts. We expect the demand to be more tilted to lower end of the forecast than the upper end,”“ he said.

The introduction of India Bullion Exchange at International Financial Centre will boost India’s image in the international market as it opens up a transparent avenue for price discovery, he added.