India's Silver imports likely to touch new record highs in 2013

Mumbai-India (Dec 4)   According to data released by Thomson Reuters GFMS, silver shipments into India touched 338 tonnes in October, surging 40% in comparison with the total imports of 241 tonnes in September. The October imports are the highest in past 3 months. As more customers opt for Silver due to extremely limited availability of gold in market, the imports may remain robust in the coming months as well.

The country imported 4,652 tonnes of silver during the initial ten-month period of the year. Going by the current rate, the total silver imports by the country should touch 5,200 to 5,400 tonnes. The imports are thus poised to is better the earlier record of 5,048 tonnes achieved in 2008.

The beaten down prices of silver has elevated the demand for silver. Increasing number of Indians has begun opting silver jewellery and coins as gifts on festival and wedding occasions. The global Silver prices have plunged by nearly 37% year-to-date.

The GFMS report states that the robust silver imports by India will continue till early next year. There has a clear shift from gold to silver among Indian households. Firstly, gold has become a rare commodity due to hike in import duties and other measures taken by RBI and the government to curb gold imports into the country.