Gold imports surge 72% on weak global prices

New Delhi-India (Jan 15)  India's gold imports rose by 71.52 per cent to $3.39 billion in December as weak global prices fed higher domestic demand.

Government data released on Monday showed that silver imports also rose, to $197.26 million last month, an increase of 106 per cent on the December 2016 figure of $95.84 million.

Gold imports by India, the world's second-biggest consumer of gold, added up to $3.39 billion in December 2017 as against $1.97 billion a year ago.

India imports 700-800 tonnes of gold a year.

Industry experts have attributed the surge in gold imports to lower global prices, which ranged between $1,250 and $1,260 per troy ounce coupled with a robust local demand.

Many traders imported more gold taking advantage of the duty-free buying, while some booked deals apprehensive that the import duty may be tweaked in the forthcoming Budget, they added.

Export of gems and jewellery rose marginally by 2.38 per cent to $3.23 billion from $3.15 billion in the same month.

Global gold prices have, however, surged in the last few weeks on the London Stock Exchange.

TheTelegraph

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