Gold Imports Plunge 94% In April-June To $688 Million
Gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit, plunged 94% to $688 million (about Rs 5,160 crore) during the first quarter of 2020-21 due to a significant fall in demand in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data from the Commerce Ministry.
Imports of the yellow metal stood at $11.5 billion (about Rs 86,250 crore) in the corresponding period of 2019-20.
Silver imports during the quarter, too, dipped 45% to $575 million (about Rs 4,300 crore).
The decline in gold and silver imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit, difference between imports and exports, to $9.12 billion during the April-June period from $45.96 billion a year ago.
Due to narrowing of trade deficit, India recorded a current account surplus of $0.6 billion, or 0.1% of GDP for the January-March quarter against a deficit of $4.6 billion, or 0.7% of GDP in the year-ago period, the Reserve Bank of India has said.
Gold imports have been contracting since December last year. The fall in March, April, May and June was to the tune of 62.6%, 99.93%, 98.4% and 77.5%, respectively.
India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to demand of jewellery industry. By volumes, the country imports 800-900 tonnes of gold annually.
Gems and jewellery exports declined by about 72% to $2.7 billion in April-June 2020.