Gold sales to see slow growth in India this year

Gold sales to see slow growth in India this year

By Siddhartha Singh,

Gold bulls expecting Indians to rush back to the jewellery market after the worst year for demand in three years may have to wait.

Demand in the first half of 2020 won’t show any significant growth as consumers will take time to adjust to higher prices and financial investments will gain priority, P.R. Somasundaram, the World Gold Council’s managing director in India, said in an interview ahead of the publication of a quarterly report.

The world’s second-biggest buyer may consume between 700 to 800 tons this year, compared with the 690 tons expected in 2019, he said.

Purchases will mainly pick up after June as “policy measures unfold, broader economic growth accelerates and local prices of the past six months become more acceptable among households.”

High prices, a slowdown in the domestic economy and weak consumption across sectors saw consumers shying away. India’s benchmark gold futures, which rallied 25% in 2019, have extended gains to a record this month and the nation’s economy is set to grow at the slowest pace in a decade.

Indians bought 194.3 tons of gold during the festival period, 18% less than a year earlier.