Chennai: Indian gold demand moved up 5 per cent in March quarter, with increase in both jewellery and investment demand. The good start of the year has made World Gold Council to forecast annual demand to be closer to 850 tonnes this year against actual demand of 760 tonnes last year.
Demand for gold in India for Q1 2019 was at 159 tonnes up by 5 per cent as compared to 151.5 tonnes in Q1 2018. Jewellery demand too was up by 5 per cent at 125.4 tonnes against 119.2 per cent in Q1 2018. Investment demand was up by 4 per cent at 33.6 tonnes in comparison with 32.3 tonnes in Q1 2018.
The country saw Q1 investment demand going up organically for the first time after 2013. In Q1 2017, demand was up, but it was largely triggered by the disruption in the market caused by demonetisation. However, in Q1 2013, the investment demand stood at 90 tonnes, almost thrice of the current demand. ‘The demand was gold was going up since 2008 and the inflation too was up those days. Though we do not except investment demand to move up to those levels, we can surely expect growth in the future,” said Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.
According to him, the strengthening of the rupee and the fall in local gold prices towards the later part of the quarter triggered a rise in India’s gold demand.
“Growth of 5 per cent in Indian jewellery demand to 125.4 tonnes uplifted global demand and boosted retail sentiment. The increase in auspicious wedding days in Q1 2019 – three times as many as those in the first quarter in 2018 - was also crucial to the rise in gold demand,” he said.
WGC expects the demand for the entire year to be closer to 850 tonnes. It was 760.4 tonnes in 2018 and 771 tonnes in 2017.