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Gold Imports Shrink 33% In April-January

Softening prices of the precious metal in the domestic and world markets could be the reason for the dip in imports, say industry experts.
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India is one of the largest importers of gold in the world.
India is one of the largest importers of gold in the world.
New Delhi: Gold imports into India fell about 32.7 per cent to $19.74 billion during the April-January period of this fiscal year, which is expected to keep a lid on the current account deficit.

Total imports of the precious metal in the corresponding period of 2015-16 stood at $29.31 billion.

According to industry experts, softening prices of the precious metal in the domestic and world markets could be the reason for the dip in imports.

A cash crunch in the system in the wake of demonetisation also impacted the inbound shipments.

Gold imports dipped by about 30 per cent to $2.04 billion in January as against $2.91 billion in the corresponding month last year, Commerce Ministry data showed.

The contraction in imports helped in narrowing the trade deficit to $86.38 billion in April-January period as against $107.74 billion in the same period previous year.

India is one of the largest gold importers in the world, and the imports mainly take care of demand from the jewellery industry.

For the full year 2015-16, current account deficit stood at $22.1 billion, or 1.1 per cent of GDP, as against $26.8 billion, or 1.3 per cent, in 2014-15.

In volume terms, the country's total official gold imports declined to 60 tonnes in April-July of this fiscal year, much lower than 250 tonnes in the year-ago period.

India imported 650 tonnes of gold in 2015-16.

The imports remained stable at around 100 tonnes in November despite fall in sales of jewellery due to the cash crunch following demonetisation.

According to experts, the rural demand was hit due to the currency ban and restriction on withdrawal of money from banks and ATMs.

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