Gold imports surge 3-fold to $3.85 bn in April

Imports of silver also grew by 61% to $353 million in April.

The Dollar Business Bureau

India’s gold imports surged to $3.85 billion during April 2017, witnessing a three-fold rise, mainly due to increased demand on Akshaya Tritiya.

In April 2016, the country’s gold imports were $1.23 billion, according to official data released on Monday.

Imports of the yellow metal were on a downward trend between February-September 2016. The imports rose in the months of October and November but declined in December and January.

In February and March this year, the imports of the precious metal recorded a high rate of growth.

In March 2017, imports of gold had surged to $4.17 billion compared to $974 million in the same month in 2016.

The rise in gold imports had led to a widening of trade deficit in April 2017 to $13.2 billion compared to $4.84 billion in the same month last year.

Imports of silver also grew by 61% to $353 million during April.

India is the second largest consumer of gold in the world after China. The country meets its demand mainly from imports.

In terms of volume, the country’s gold imports were 560.32 tonnes during the period April-January 2016-17.

Currently, gold import attracts a duty of 10%. The gems and jewellery sector along with the Ministry of Commerce have time and again prodded the Ministry of Finance to consider a reduction in import duty.

During the period April-December of last fiscal, the current account deficit (CAD) halved to 0.7%, from 1.4% in the same period a year ago.

The increase in gold imports in April is due to the low base effect and the rise in demand due to Akshaya Tritiya on April 28.

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 16, 2017 12:00 IST