As prices drop to year's low, gold imports jump1 min read . Updated: 07 Jun 2019, 08:45 AM IST
- Gold imports by India grew 36% in May
- The industry is keeping an eye on the progress of the monsoon
Gold imports by India grew 36% in May from a year earlier as jewelers and customers rushed to buy after prices declined to the lowest level this year.
Overseas purchases rose to 105.8 tons last month from 77.6 tons a year earlier, according to a person familiar with the data, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Combined shipments during April-May were 226.6 tons, up about 74% from the year-ago period. Finance Ministry spokesman D.S. Malik wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election victory last month strengthened the local currency just as benchmark gold futures in India dipped to their lowest level this year. The South Asian nation, the world’s second-biggest consumer of gold, imports almost all the metal it consumes and a stronger rupee makes it cheaper for local buyers. A key auspicious gold buying day — Akshaya Tritiya — as well as the wedding season also boosted sales in May.
“Sales were amazing last month, with huge demand seen during Akshaya Tritiya. The drop in prices has really complemented that trend," said G.V. Sreedhar, managing director of Sree Rama Jewels and a former chairman of the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council. Purchases for weddings were also good when compared to last year and sales are expected to be robust this month as well, he said.
The industry is keeping an eye on the progress of the monsoon, as it could affect rural demand, he said. India’s southwest monsoon, which waters more than half of the country’s farmland and is crucial for economic growth, is expected to be normal this year but has been delayed by more than a week.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.