Mumbai: Gold imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer, probably halved in May from a year earlier as rising prices deterred jewellery buyers, a traders’ group said.
Purchases totalled 10-15 tonnes, compared with 29 tonnes a year ago, said Suresh Hundia, president of the Bombay Bullion Association Ltd, citing preliminary data.
“Demand was hurt by rising prices and at current levels, there won’t be any buyers, be it the retailer or jeweller,” Hundia said over the phone on Monday.
Bullion jumped 10% last month in New York, the most since November, as a weaker dollar increased demand for precious metals as an alternative investment.
The gain cooled demand from Indian households and jewellers during the wedding season that started in January.
Gold for immediate delivery added as much as 0.5% to $983.55 (around Rs46,500) an ounce on Monday, the highest level it has reached since 24 February.
The price of the metal at close of trading in Mumbai on Monday was Rs14,965 per 10g.
Precious metals advanced as the dollar witnessed a decline of 1.7% on Monday against a basket of six major currencies, after posting its biggest monthly loss this year in May.