Note ban seen shaving a third of India's gold demand in 2017


By Rejesh Bhayani
Business Standard, New Delhi
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Demonetization is expected to shave 300 tonnes off India's gold demand, which is unlikely to come back in a hurry.

Average monthly gold imports, which have been around 65-70 tonnes for the past few years, halved between February and September this year. In October and November there was a recovery on account of festive buying and the marriage season. However, demonetization is expected to result in a drop in demand.

Sudheesh Nambiath, lead analyst for precious metals demand in South Asia and the United Arab Emirates for GFMS-Thomson Reuters, said, "Our estimate is that 300 tonnes of gold demand, which were predominantly cash-based buying, will be shaved off in 2017."

Average annual gold demand for the past seven years has been 875 tonnes, and around 85-90 percent of this gold has been imported. Analysts said around 20 percent of the demand was met through smuggled gold. ...

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