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Gold imports may touch 1,000 tn this year, up 11%

NEW DELHI: Buoyed by sharp fall in gold prices globally, India is likely to see a jump of 11 per cent in imports of the metal to 1,000 tonnes this year, says a trade body.

According to the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, the world’s second-biggest gold consumer had imported around 900 tonnes in 2014.

“Gold import is estimated at around 1,000 tonnes in 2015 calendar year, compared to around 900 tonnes last year.

Imports are likely to increase because of low global prices,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation Chairman G V Sreedhar said.

He said imports through smuggling are estimated to be around 100 tonnes this year.

According to the Federation, India has already imported 850 tonnes of gold from January—September of 2015 as against 650 tonnes in the first 9 months of last year.

Gold imports are expected to be 150—200 tonnes in the last quarter, as against 300 tonnes in the year—ago period.

The World Gold Council has said in its latest report that India’s gold demand in the October—December quarter would be more muted.

“Lingering concerns over the health of the rural Indian economy and local gold prices remaining in close proximity to Rs. 27,000 per 10 grams level in recent weeks also give reasons to adopt a prudent outlook for the usual fourth quarter uplift in Indian demand,” it had said in the report.

Festival and wedding purchases were brought forward to take advantage of the price dip, therefore demand towards the end of the year is likely to be correspondingly affected, it added.