India's gold demand seen at 700-800 tons in 2020

India's gold demand seen at 700-800 tons in 2020”

Global demand for gold fell in the last three months of previous year as sales of gold jewellery, bars and coins declined alongside purchases by central banks and financial investors, an industry report said on Thursday.

The council said India's gold demand will be in the range of 700-800 tonnes in 2020 from 690 tonnes in 2019.

Mumbai, Jan 30 (SocialNews.XYZ) Indias gold demand was 9 per cent lower in 2019, at 690 tonne, primarily owing to the sharp surge in prices, however, it is expected to rebound in 2020, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday. "Diwali and Dhanteras revived hopes but the volatility coupled with a higher price bar impacted demand, in the lower and middle price bands", said PR Somadundaram, managing director India, World Gold Council.

Effective from January 15, 2021, hallmarking will become mandatory for all gold jewellery sold as 14K, 18K or 22K, which could put a further dent in demand should high metal prices prevail since there are charges that has to be paid to get the jewellery hallmarked.

This is attributable to the drop in jewellery demand and investment in gold bars by two consuming giants China and India due to high and more volatile gold prices.

"These and other changes to follow are significantly positive for the long-term sustainability of demand, especially for the compliant and the organised sector", Somasundaram said.

Demand over October-December at 1,045.2 tonnes dropped by 19% from the same period in 2018.

Central banks and investors had bought large amounts of gold earlier in the year, helping push gold prices up 18% in 2019 to the highest level since 2013. In value terms, however, gold demand at Rs 2,17,700 crore was up 3 per cent in 2019 compared with the previous year.

India's gold import including through grey channels, the WGC said it declined by 14 per cent to 646.8 tonnes in 2019 from 755.7 tonnes in 2018.

"We do believe imports may not rise as fast as demand this year". Imports through grey market stood at 115-120 tonnes in 2019.

Gold price in India finished 2019 just above Rs 39,000 per ten grams, nearly 24 per cent higher than at the end of 2018 while the country's total gold import including through grey channels declined by 14 per cent to 646.8 tonnes in 2019 from 755.7 tonnes in 2018. "But do expect custom duty on gold to be reduced to 10 per cent from 12.5 per cent at present". Usually, India's gold demand hovers around 800 tonnes.

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