A government source said India’s gold imports in September rose 658 per cent from last year’s low base, falling to their lowest level in nearly six months as local prices improved, prompting jewelers to prepare for the upcoming festive season. Motivated to increase purchases.
Higher imports by the world’s second largest bullion consumer could support benchmark gold prices, which have fallen nearly 15 per cent from an all-time high of $2,072 in August 2020.
A jump in imports could widen India’s trade deficit and put pressure on the rupee.
India imported 91 tonnes of gold in September compared to 12 tonnes a year ago, the source said on Monday on condition of anonymity as it is not authorized to speak to the media.
In value terms, September imports rose to $5.1 billion from $601 million a year ago, he said.
India’s gold imports in the September quarter rose by 170 per cent to 288 tonnes in the September quarter, a government official said.
A Mumbai-based dealer of a gold-importing bank said, “Last month, global prices were correcting and the rupee was gaining ground. This combination led to a significant fall in local prices and an opportunity for jewelers to stock up.”
Local gold futures last week settled at Rs 45,479 per 10 grams, the lowest in nearly six months.
The dealer said retail demand is improving and jewelery shops are selling well.
A Kolkata-based bullion dealer said if prices remain stable around the current level of Rs 46,300, the country’s gold imports may increase to 100 tonnes in October from 45 tonnes a year ago.
The dealer said, “Retail consumers are now stepping out to shop. With the fall in the number of coronavirus cases, the fear of coronavirus is easing.”
Indian authorities imposed a local lockdown in the June quarter as COVID-19 infections hit a record high, but allowed businesses to reopen in a phased manner as cases fell.
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