Gold imports by India, the world’s second-biggest consumer, are poised to plunge this month from September when festival demand fueled a more than four-fold jump in shipments, a jewelers’ group said.
Overseas purchases probably fell to 50 metric tons to 60 tons this month from 95 tons in September, said Bachhraj Bamalwa, a director at the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation, which represents 300,000 jewelers and dealers.
Demand in India, which represented 25 percent of global consumption in 2013, fell 34 percent in the first half after the government curbed imports to control a widening current-account deficit and a decline in the currency. Sales of jewelry, coins and bars rose in the run up to Diwali festival on Oct. 23 and demand will now be driven by the wedding season that runs through May, Bamalwa said.
“The wedding season demand will start coming in 10 days as there are a lot of marriages scheduled at the end of November,” Bamalwa said by phone from Kolkata. “The jump last month was because jewelers were preparing for demand during Diwali. Now that’s is over.”
Buying and gifting of gold is considered auspicious during festivals that run from August to October and the wedding season. A drop in prices boosted sales during Diwali and demand has been subdued since then, Bamalwa said.
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