Indian gold demand rises sharply as price falls
India's Gold Import Bill Up 12%, Reaches $35 Billion in 2015
By Rajesh Bhayani
Business Standard, New Delhi
Saturday, January 16, 2016
MUMBAI -- India's gold import in December 2015 is estimated to have crossed 100 tonnes following sharp increase in demand for gold during the first and last weeks of the month, when prices fell sharply both in domestic and international markets. With 105 tonnes of estimated imports in December, India's total gross import in 2015 has crossed 900 tonnes, a jump of 25 percent over 2014.
In value terms, it is nearly 12 percent higher at $34.980 billion, as December's import bill is estimated around $3.7 billion. India imported $31.17 billion worth gold in 2014.
Sudheesh Nambiath, lead analyst with GFMS Thomson Reuters, said, "Gold demand increased in December when prices were at the lowest level this year, and as retailers increased their inventory to optimum levels, our estimate for December import is 107 tonnes."
Looking at annual figures, just over 700 tonnes were net imports as the balance were duty-free imports (for re-export after value addition).
Despite the sharp spurt in imports, the import bill has just gone up only 12 percent because of a fall in gold prices in the international market. Average international gold prices fell by 8 percent, while the price oscillated in a $246 range, a nearly 20-percent decline from the annual high. ...
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