Gold Imports Recorded 49% Surge in India
India’s gold imports surged in May this year, mainly boosted by festive demand. As per government sources, the country imported 116 tonnes of the precious metal during the month, significantly higher by 49% hwne matched with the imports during the corresponding month a year before. The country’s gold imports had totaled only 78 tonnes in May ’18. In value terms, the gold imports surged higher from $3.48 billion to $4.78 billion year-on-year.
The retail buying remained robust during Akshaya Tritiya- the auspicious occasion to buy gold. The low gold prices boosted buying activity during this period. In fact, local gold prices had fallen to their lowest level in five months. Anticipated jump in gold buying during the festive season led to elevated levels of imports during May this year. Meantime, subsequent jump in international gold prices is likely to result in reduced imports during June. The monthly imports are likely to drop below 80 tonnes in June ’19.
The notable decline in gold smuggling activities during elections lifted legal imports of gold. The grey market operations remained subdued due to elections. This resulted in natural diversion of demand towards banks, which reflected in enlarged legal imports.
As per estimates provided by the World Gold Council (WGC), the country’s gold consumption in 2019 is projected at around 750-850 tonnes, as compared with the consumption of 760.4 tonnes in 2018.