INDIA May 12 2016 3:07 PM
MUMBAI (Scrap Register): India's gold import plunged by 39% to 134.4 tons between January-March quarter of 2016 versus 220.2 tons in the same quarter last year, as per the data compiled by the World Gold Council (WGC).
According to WGC, India’s gold demand dipped by 39% in the first quarter of the current calendar year as buyers deferred their scheduled purchases amid expectations of decline in prices.
India’s overall gold demand plunged to 116.5 tons worth Rs 29,900 crore ($4.4 billion) during the period between January and March 2016 as compared to 191.7 tons worth Rs 46,730 crore ($7.5 billion) in the corresponding period last year.
Both jewellery and investment demands of gold declined in India during the quarter under review. While jewellery demand slumped by 41% in tonnage term to 88.4 tons as against 150.8 tons in the January – March quarter of 2015, investment demand of gold slumped by 31% to 28 tons from 40.9 tonnes in the same quarter of the previous year.
For the full year of 2016, however, India’s gold demand is likely to stay between 850-950 tons, a decline of nearly 50-150 tons from the previous year.
“Gold demand in India was affected due to jeweller’s strike following the re-introduction of an excise duty, which left even wedding shoppers affected, was one major reason impacting demand. The sharp increase in the price of gold since the beginning of this year and an expectation of a cut in the customs duty on gold also led consumers to hold back on purchases,” said Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, WGC.