India's gold imports edged higher in June (2021) as the COVID-19 pandemic's deadly second wave waned in the country and buyers returned to stores drawn by a dip in the yellow metal's prices.
Foreign shipments jumped to 15 tonnes last month from 13.2 tonnes a year ago, a source told Bloomberg. The April-June quarter's imports stood at around 97 tonnes, down by half from the previous quarter.
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India is the world's second-biggest gold consumer. Coronavirus cases in the country have ebbed from a peak of over 4 lakh daily infections in May, when the world's fastest COVID-19 spurt left hospitals and crematoriums overcrowded.
Jewellers like Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd and Titan Co have gradually started reopening stores for brief periods since June as states lifted COVID-induced lockdowns.
Buyers have also trickled back into stores following a dip in domestic gold prices, which tumbled the most in four months in June.
"Though business hours are restricted, we are seeing people coming in to buy gold, including coins, as they feel prices will shoot up again and they may not get an opportunity to buy if a third wave of the virus emerges," Kumar Jain, owner of UT Zaveri store in Mumbai's biggest jewellery market, told the news agency.
However, gold sales will only pick pace in a big way once states across the country ease all curbs on movements and businesses, he added.
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