India’s Gold Imports Slump as Festival Fails to Light Up Demand
Gold jewelry sits on a digital scale during the processing of a customer’s gold loan application at their home in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India’s Gold Imports Slump as Festival Fails to Light Up Demand

Gold imports by India tumbled last month as the festival of lights failed to revive demand in the world’s second-biggest consumer.

Overseas purchases fell 41% in November from a year earlier to 33.1 tons, according to a person familiar with the data, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Still, imports showed an improvement from the 29 tons in October. Finance Ministry spokesman Rajesh Malhotra didn’t immediately respond to a call to his mobile phone.

India’s Gold Imports Slump as Festival Fails to Light Up Demand

Jewelers in India may be staring at one of their worst years for sales in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic, high prices and a weak economy slam the ability of buyers to purchase gold. Demand during Diwali, the biggest occasion for the country’s more than 900 million Hindus to purchase jewelry, was only about 70% of last year’s levels, according to the the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council.

India’s imports in the January to November period are down 63% from a year earlier to 220.2 tons, according to Bloomberg calculations.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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