INDIA May 26 2017 2:02 PM
NEW DELHI (Scrap Register): Data are likely to show Indian silver imports likely remained high this month, unless higher prices end up curbing enthusiasm, said Metals Focus.
An estimated 600 tons of silver bullion was cleared through Indian customs last month, which Metals Focus said was most so far this year. There are several reasons for a build-up in India stocks, with a key being concerns about the coming introduction of the new goods and services tax (GST), expected to be introduced in July. There is considerable uncertainty on how the GST will apply to the Indian gold and silver market, Metals Focus added.
“As a result, the Indian trade is wary of being caught on ‘the wrong side of the market, the consultancy added, pointing out that the Indian government has tended to surprise the bullion market with unexpected announcements on import duties and other measures that affect imports.
Still, the jump in April silver imports was not entirely stock-related, added Metals Focus. For one thing, jewelry sales connected to the Akshaya Trithiya holiday were strong for both silver and gold. Many retailers were surprised at the strength, resulting in restocking.
“Taking this a stage further, we would not be surprised to see May imports also improve, the result of both trade restocking (of finished products) and also in advance of GST,” said Metals Focus. “However, one cautionary note concerns the impact of rising silver prices....Should the price continue to strengthen, this may help to curtail Indian bullion imports.”