Oct gold imports up on festivals, investment

Oct gold imports up on festivals, investment

New Delhi:Gold imports in October rose to 43 tonnes provisionally, above a Reuters poll forecast of 41.5 tonnes, as a good monsoon and investment appeal drew consumers to the metal despite high prices, the president of the Bombay Bullion Association (BBA) said on Monday.

Imports in the same month last year were 36.2 tonnes.

“The monsoon has been good. People have bought gold in big amounts," Prithviraj Kothari, the new president of the BBA told Reuters from Mumbai. “They think a price level of Rs20,000-25,000 ($450-$563) per 10 grams is not far."

Front month gold futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd traded at 19,847 rupees on Monday, down 81 from the record high at 0,028 hit on 14 October.

Gold imports in the world’s largest market for the metal are recovering this year after the worst monsoon in nearly four decades in 2009 made people conserve savings.

A Reuters poll conducted last week had 10 gold importers, traders and an analyst project imports in October at 41.5 tonnes.

January to October, gold imports stood at 276.3 tonnes, up 2.6% from 269.3 tonnes a year ago, data from BBA shows.

In 2009, India imported 339.8 tonnes of gold, down 19% from the previous year.

Kothari said a growing trend in favour of buying gold purely as a means of investment had also helped boost sales.

“Commodity prices are high, so more people have turned to gold. They have diversified their portfolios to gold," he said.

Kothari said the current month might also see good sales owing to the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals when people buy the metal to invoke prosperity.