Bhopal markets, which usually witness bustling crowds and skyrocketing sales during Dhanteras, bore a rather dull outlook this year. Retailers have attributed the weakness to slower economy due to drought and crop loss. Around 30 districts of Madhya Pradesh have been hit hard due to scant rainfall in the Kharif season.
According to sarafa traders, commodities like silver and gold, which on Dhanteras usually sell like hot cakes in the capital’s markets, but this time the Dhanteras sale could drop by almost 30% as compared to the last year, despite lowest gold rates this festive season since 2012. The gold is being sold at Rs 26,010 per 10 grams and silver at Rs 35,500 per kilograms.
Talking to HT, goldsmith Jaimohan Agrawal said, “The buyers from the outskirts of Bhopal, especially farmers, did not turn up for Dhanteras purchases this year, which resulted in the drop of sale by 30%. The impact of crop loss has reflected not only on farmers, but on the business sector too.”
The traders are now apprehensive that the slump could also mar the wedding season sale starting right after Diwali, when they get the maximum demand for gold and silver.
According to goldsmith, Navneet Agrawal, all sectors are hit hard whenever farmers bear loss of Kharif crop. “Usually, farmers purchase heavy jewellery on the occasion of Dhanteras, but this year they purchased bullions, mostly of lower weight up to 5 gm in case of gold and 10-100 gm in case of silver.”
Not only farmers, but other buyers also did not show much interest in purchasing jewellery, said Agrawal. “People showed more preference for light weight jewellery. The middle class showed more preference for diamond and platinum rather than gold and silver. Fluctuation in rates could be a reason behind it,” he added.