Gold & Silver

Gold recycling in India likely to be at 7-year high on record prices

Bloomberg | Updated on August 01, 2019 Published on August 01, 2019

Supply from scrap sales this year may rise to 100 tonnes: WGC

Gold recycling in India, which trails only China in consumption, is forecast to climb to the highest since 2012 as a surge in local prices pushes people to cash in on their jewellery, according to the World Gold Council.

Supplies through old gold sales may rise to around 100 tonnes this year, P.R. Somasundaram, managing director for India at the gold promotion body, said in an interview. That would be a 15 percent increase over 2018 and the highest since the 118 tonnes sold in 2012, according to WGC data.

Read also: India's gold demand to soften in Q3 on price rise, rural distress

Higher scrap supply in India, which imports almost all of its gold, may reduce dependence on overseas purchases that have already risen about 20 percent in the first six months of 2019. Additionally, the government increased the import tax on the precious metal last month for the first time since 2013 to curb demand.

An increase in the tax will dampen demand in the three months through September but may not have a long-term impact, Somasundaram said by phone. Consumption this year may come in at the higher end of WGCs 750 to 850 tonnes estimate for this year.

Switching to gold

* From the consumers point of view, prices have run up significantly, whether it is the import tax increase or the increase in the international price and it will therefore cut the amount of gold you can buy with the same amount of money, according to Somasundaram. But when you see that the other asset classes in which you are investing not doing so well, they will probably allocate more to gold.

* Additionally, demand will pick up as festival season begins in the second half and consumers become used to higher prices, he said.

* Domestic prices have tracked a surge in overseas spot gold, and have risen about 10 percent this year. Prices rose to a record 35,409 rupees last month.

* Investment demand for coins and bars in the second quarter was the best for the period in the past five years and purchases will rise as many equity and debt investors switch to gold, Somasundaram said.

Key figures

* Indians bought 213.2 tonnes of gold in the April-June period, up 13 percent from a year earlier, taking consumption during the first half of this year 9 percent higher to 372.2 tonnes .

* Net imports during April-June rose 28 percent to 247.4 tonnes from a year earlier period: WGC

* Dore imports were 75.5 tonnes, up 9 percent on year .

* Scrap supply climbed 18 percent during the quarter to 38 tonnes, taking the January-June total to 54 tonnes .

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Published on August 01, 2019
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