Molten gold pours from a crucible into a 400 ounce gold bar mould during the semi-automated gold bar manufacturing process at a precious metal refinery near Mendrisio. (Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg)

India’s Gold Imports Down 25% In First Quarter

India’s gold imports fell by 25 percent to $8.43 billion in the first quarter of the current financial year due to sliding prices of the metal in both global and domestic markets.

Gold imports had amounted to $11.26 billion in the corresponding quarter of last financial year. The imports of the metal have been declining since January this year. Contraction in gold imports help contain the current account deficit.

CAD, which is the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, jumped to $48.7 billion, or 1.9 per cent of GDP, in 2017-18. This was higher than $14.4 billion, or 0.6 per cent, CAD in 2016-17.

With rising oil prices, depreciating rupee and outflow of portfolio investments, there are concerns that CAD might rise in the current financial year. Rise in crude oil prices and imports too have impacted the trade deficit, which widened to $44.94 billion during April-June this financial year as against $40 billion in the same period of 2017-18.

India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry. The gems and jewellery exports in June grew by about 3 per cent to $3.5 billion.As per the data, silver imports grew by 104.5 per cent to $364.24 million in June. The country imports 700-800 tonnes of gold annually.