Chennai: India imported double the quantity of gold than what domestic demand justified in the first three quarters of 2021.
In the first nine months of 2021, the country imported an aggregate of 778 tonnes of gold-more than double the demand of 360.2 tonnes. Though the imports also include the quantum used for export purposes, gold jewellery exports have not seen a growth over 2019 levels till September. That means a major portion of the imports has been to cater to the domestic demand.
The gold trade has been stocking the metal to take advantage of the price correction and this has been one of the reasons behind the higher imports.
The excess imports may come handy in the current festival season, as the World Gold Council (WGC) expects the domestic demand to go up in the December quarter.
The gold demand in the September quarter stood at 139 tonnes, 47 per cent higher than the pandemic hit quarter of last year when the demand was 94.6 tonnes. Overall, in the first nine months of the calendar year, the gold demand reached 360.2 tonnes against 260.4 tonnes in Jan.-Sept. 2020.
The WGC expects the December quarter demand to remain high and above 250 tonnes. In the same quarter last year, the demand was 186.2 tonnes. Even then, the imports for calendar year 2021 will remain higher than the demand.
"Trade activity witnessed during various buyer-seller meets and anecdotal feedback from manufacturers indicate that this Q4 festive season could be the best in several years, with strong imports, said Somasundaram P. R., regional CEO, India, World Gold Council....