Chennai: India’s gold demand in 2020 might be the lowest in 25 years as the pandemic has already dragged down consumption in the first three quarters by almost half. Central banks turned net sellers in the September quarter after a gap of 10 years.
In the first three quarters of 2020, gold demand stood at 252 tonnes, which was 49 per cent down from 496 tonnes in the same period last year. With one more quarter to go, the World Gold Council expects that India’s gold demand would be the lowest since 1995.
“The year 1995 had seen one of the lowest yearly demand of 462 tonnes. In Q4 of last year, the demand stood at 194 tonnes. Even if we assume that the country consumes 200 tonnes in the festive quarter of Q4 this, which though is unlikely, the total consumption for the calendar year will touch 452 tonnnes and will be lesser than 1995 demand,” said Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.
According to him, some of the organised jewellers have reportedly seen 60 – 80 per cent of the demand recovering in the month of October.
The September quarter saw gold demand falling by 30 per cent to 86.6 tonnes on the back of Covid-related disruptions, bleak consumer sentiment and high prices accompanied by volatility. This is the third lowest quarter since 2000 when WGC has been publishing quarterly demand. This is, however, higher than Q2 which at 64 tonnes saw a 70 per cent drop and the second lowest in WGC’s quarterly series.
While jewellery demand was down 48 per cent in Q3 against the year-ago quarter, investment demand was 51 per cent up to 33.8 tonnes compared to 22.3 tonnes in the Q3 2019. In value terms, investment demand went up by 107 per cent to Rs 15,410 crore.
Due to higher prices, recycling increased by 14 per cent to 41.5 tonnes and imports were up 8 per cent to 90.5 tonnes, mostly in anticipation of the festive season and speculative buying.
Globally, the gold demand was 19 per cent down.