India’s April gold imports plunge 99.9% to three-decade low: Report
India’s gold imports plunged 99.9 per cent year-on-year in April to their lowest in nearly three decades, news agency Reuters reported citing a government source. The reason for this, according to Reuters, is the ban on air travel and closure of jewellery shops amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The world’s second biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 50 kilograms of gold in April, down from 110.18 tonnes a year ago, Reuters reported.
In value terms, April imports dropped to $2.84 million from to $3.97 billion a year ago, he added.
Imports were negligible in April due to a nationwide lockdown which has rippled through the country’s economy, shuttering many industries. Most of India’s imports are shipped by air, and with airline industry completely shut down, it has suffered.
Bloomberg quoted N Anantha Padmanaban, chairman of the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, as saying that gold imports will halve this year to about 350 tonnes.
Meanwhile, gold price in the domestic market rose for the second day in a row on Monday amid rising tensions between US and China and as lockdown restrictions were eased in large parts of India.
June gold futures prices rose 0.7 per cent to ₹45,830 per 10 gram on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), against a gain of ₹650 per 10 gram in the previous session. July silver futures edged 0.44 per cent higher at ₹41,780 per kg.
Gold had risen 18% last year as the China-US trade dispute increased demand for the safe-haven amid interest rates cuts by the US central bank.
The US dollar moved away from an over one-month low on Monday, making gold costlier for investors holding other currencies.