Gold & Silver

Record prices keep gold imports lowest in 3 years

Bloomberg October 3 | Updated on October 03, 2019

Gold imports by India plunged in September to the lowest monthly inflow in at least three years, weighed down by all-time high prices amid poor demand.

Inbound shipments slid for a third month, slumping 86 per cent from a year earlier to 13.5 tonnes in September, according to a person familiar with the data, who asked not to be identified as the information is not public. That’s even lower than the 14.8 tonnes bought in August and the lowest monthly figure in records going back to January 2016, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

Total imports by the top consumer after China fell 12 per cent from the year earlier to 520.6 tonnes during January to September, the person said.

Benchmark gold futures in Mumbai have jumped 22 per cent this year and touched a record of ₹39,885 ($561) per 10 grams in early September. Prices have since come off a bit but jewellers are concerned that the elevated prices, slowing economic growth and floods in many regions may eat into demand during the peak festival season this month and the wedding season that follows. Prices were last trading 0.8 per cent higher at ₹38,190at 1 pm in Mumbai.

“Everything is affecting consumers’ sentiment,” N Anantha Padmanaban, chairman of the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, said by phone. However, the slight dip in prices has given some hope to jewellers that the weakness in demand expected during the 15 days before Diwali may be less severe, he said.

“Each one is trying in their own way to pull in customers,” he said on jewellers’ efforts to promote sales during the festival season.

Published on October 03, 2019

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