Business Bureau :
INDIA’S gold demand slumped 32 per cent to 123.9 tonnes in the September quarter as higher prices and economic slowdown reduced the appetite for the yellow metal, according to a report. The country, which is the second largest consumer of the yellow metal after China, recorded a 66 per cent fall in gold imports to 80.5 tonnes during Q3 of 2019 against the year-ago period. The decline in import was more steep as jewellers met their demand with old imported stock and recycling, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Tuesday. In domestic market, gold prices had peaked to Rs 39,011 per 10 grams in September and are now ruling at Rs 38,800 per 10 gram. During the first nine months of 2019, the country’s cumulative gold demand declined to 496.11 tonnes from 523.9 tonnes during January-September period of 2018. The 2018 full year gold demand stood at 760.4 tonnes, the report said. Similarly, the cumulative gold import declined to 502.9 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019 from 587.3 tonnes in the year-ago.
During the full year of 2018, India’s gold imports had stood at 755.7 tonnes. “In India, there was decline in gold demand due to two reasons. One was sharp increase in prices by 20 per cent towards the end of Q2 and in Q3.
The second reason was that, in various countries including India and China, general economic slowdown affected the consumer sentiment,” WGC India MD Somasundaram said. Gold demand fell 32.3 per cent to 123.9 tonnes (including jewellery demand of 101.6 tonnes and bar/coin demand of 22.3 tonnes) during Q3 of 2019 when compared with 183.2 tonnes in the same quarter 2018, he said after releasing the report. Stating that gold imports too fell due to high prices and lower rural demand, Somasundaram said, “When demand is low, people recycle gold.”