Dhanteras gold demand falls at least 20 percent this year

Come Dhanteras and Indians are ready to shell out that extra bit to purchase gold on the auspicious day. But demand has fallen by at least 20 percent this time

Come Dhanteras and Indians are ready to shell out that extra bit to purchase gold on the auspicious day. But demand has fallen by at least 20 percent this time as most people have made the bulk of their purchases earlier in the year when prices were much lower, say market cognoscenti on the occasion of the festival on Friday.

“Though people are coming to the shops but overall sales are low. Demand has fallen by 20 percent in Delhi this year during Dhanteras as many people have bought gold during April-May when the price fell considerably to around Rs.25,000 per 10 grams,” Rahul Gupta, chief executive officer of PP Jewellers told IANS. Gold currently retails at around Rs.32,000 per 10 grams in Delhi.

Gupta also mentioned that there is supply crunch in the market after the government hiked the duty on gold to 15 percent to curb its import as it was causing an imbalance in the current account deficit.

Dhanteras comes on the 13th day of the dark fortnight in the Kartik month (according to Hindu calender). It is also the day for celebrating wealth as the word ‘Dhan’ literally means wealth and ‘Tera’ comes from the date 13th.

Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day.

Jayantilal Challani, president of Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association and a partner in Challani Jewellery Mart told IANS: “Sales volume is certainly down atleast by 30 percent as per our information. The footfall in the shops are high but per ticket sales volume is low across the country is what we hear.”

Even N. Anantha Padmanabhan of NAC Jewellers told IANS: “Sales are expected to be good today. But they will be down by 30-40 percent as compared to last year.”

Though inflation and high prices of gold restricted the buyers, overall the market recorded between 50-60 percent sales as compared to last year, Ashok Minawala, former chairman of Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation said in Mumbai.

“As always, gold continued to be popular with the people and despite the drop in volume sales as compared to last year, the market is happy,” Minawala explained.

Surprisingly, this year middle-end diamonds and diamond jewellery found takers, especially in the Rs.50,000-150,000 range, he added.

Another expert and former chairman of All India Gems & Jewellery Federation Bachharaj Bamalwa said the slight fall in the price of the precious yellow metal in the international markets on Thursday had contributed to the positive mood among the buyers.

However, Gora Roy Chowdhury, director of Kolkata’s MP Jewellers, felt customers are confused about the gold industry and that is definitely impacting sales by 30-35 percent this Dhanteras.

“The price volatility is definitely impacting the people, coupled with various freebies offered by many jewellers along with gold. People are confused and they often don’t understand which product to go for – gold or freebies,” Roy Chowdhury told IANS.

He rued the fact that nowadays people do not buy gold with seriousness of owning a jewellery. “They buy it for the sake of buying and are more attracted towards the freebies.”


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