India’s gold imports remained stable at around 100 tonnes in November despite fall in sales of jewellery due to cash crunch post demonetisation.
The country had imported about 97 tonnes during October, according to All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Director Bacchraj Bamalwa.
“Gold imports were normal during last month at around 100 tonnes. Imports took place to meet wedding demand,” he said.
Asked about the outlook for December, he said that the shipments are expected to halve as wedding season would end mid-December and moreover there is carryover stock from the last month.
The rural demand is affected due to cash crunch following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes since November 8, he added.
However, the overall gold imports in the October-December quarter is expected to be around 250 tonnes, which is almost similar to the year-ago period.
Bamalwa also said that the country’s overall gold imports for the current calendar is likely to decline to 650 tonnes from 850 tonnes last year due to poor sales following strike by jewellers for two months against the government decision to impose one per cent excise duty.
GJF Chairman G V Sreedhar said, “Imports are likely to be 50 tonnes or even less, which is not surprising looking at the current circumstances.”
The cash crunch has hit demand as sales were down by upto 80 per cent initially but the situation is improving, he said, adding that sales are happening through digital mode. Even unorganised players are using the digital platforms, he added.
According the World Gold Council’s report, India’s gold demand declined by 28 per cent to 194.8 tonnes during July-September quarter of this year due to high prices, not so recovered rural wallet and regulatory changes.
The demand for the full year is expected to be in the range of 650-750 tonnes, it said