Gold Imports Recover To Pre-Covid Levels Owing To Strong Festive & Export Demand
India’s Gold imports have witnessed a fluctuating trend during the last 6 months and have come at par with the statistics of the pre-covid years. In April-September 2021, in terms of value, the average import of gold recorded at US$3992.34 million which is higher than the average gold imports in the previous years. This is mainly on account of rise in gold prices in the last year and the exchange rate. However, for the same period, the average gold imports of 72.16 tonnes was at par with an average imports during the past 3 years—80.51 tonnes in 2017-18, 87.92 tonnes in 2018-19 and 70 tonnes in 2019-20.
Gold imports in May and June 2021 were severely hit by the second devastating Covid wave that resulted in nationwide lockdowns and paralysed several industries for a brief period including gem and jewellery.
In May gold imports dropped to a six-month low of 12.98 tonnes far below the usual figure of 100 to 135 tonnes (2017-18 to 2019-2020). Similarly in the month of June 2021, import of gold was at 17.57 tonnes and US$969.87 million as compared to the usual imports of around 70 tonnes of the value around US$2.5 billion in the usual scenario.
Gold imports picked up in August which recorded the second highest gold imports of 118.08 tonnes.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “Average imports of gold during April-September 2021 i.e. US$3992.34 million are relatively more than the average gold imports in the previous years, due to surging gold prices and rise in exchange rate. However, on the whole, there is no deviation in the gold imported in July, August and September from the average imports of gold (in quantity) during the same period in the previous 3 years.”
“The increase in the imports during July, August and September 2021 is due to the lifting of lockdowns, revival of the domestic and export demand and the start of the festive season which has resulted in sharp rise in demand of G&J products and along with the imports of gold. Additionally, we witnessed strong demand for gold jewellery, especially the bridal segment, at the IIJS Premiere in Bengaluru.”
“We expect that imports of gold will further rise in the forthcoming months as peak festive/wedding season will further boost the demand for jewellery both at home and key international markets,” Colin added.
Average Import of Gold during April-September 2017-2018 to 2021-2022
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*Provisional computed based on the value and price of gold imported