The demand for gold at the retail level also has fallen significantly in the past two months.
Chennai: Record high prices continued to pull down gold imports in February as they fell 41 per cent against the same month last year. The demand for gold at the retail level also has fallen significantly in the past two months.
In February India imported 46 tonnes of gold, which includes both refined gold and dore, compared to 77.64 tonnes a year earlier, Reuters reported. In value terms, February imports totalled $2.36 billion, down from $2.58 billion in February 2019.
Gold imports in January too had fallen 48 per cent to 36.26 tonnes against 69.51 tonnes in the same month last year. In value terms, January imports totalled $1.58 billion, down from last year’s $2.31 billion. In fact, gold imports have been coming down since July when the prices started moving up. In the domestic market, the rising prices touched record high levels. Both demand and imports remained subdued during the second half of the year.
However, in November when prices fell from the all-time high levels, and the trade used this opportunity to replenish their stocks, which saw imports going up by 78 per cent to 71 tonnes against 40 tonnes in the same month last year.
Once prices started rebounding, imports once again came down. Other than November, the entire second half witnessed shrinkage of imports. For the calendar year 2019, imports were down by 12 per cent to 831 tonnes against 944 tonnes in 2018.
According to Bachhraj Bamalwa, former chairman of All-India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, the gold demand is ‘technically nil” in the retail market for the past two months. “Demand was there till November and to some extent in December. Since then, the market has been dull despite weddings in January,” he said.