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Gold demand crashes 70% in April-June; high prices, COVID-19 lockdown keep buyers away

Gold prices are at an all-time high, which has discouraged Indian buyers in recent months; demand for gold jewellery has dropped 74% during the period

twitter-logoPB Jayakumar | July 30, 2020 | Updated 13:02 IST
Gold demand crashes 70% in April-June; high prices, COVID-19 lockdown keep buyers away
Total gold imports witnessed a 95% fall during the period at 11.6 tonnes, from 247.4 tonnes in second quarter of last year, said the data

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Demand was at 63.7 tonnes in April-June, compared to 213.2 tonnes in Q2 2019
  • In value terms, sales were Rs 26,600 crore, down by 57%.
  • Gold as an investment fell by 56 percent to 19.8 tonnes in Q2
  • Total gold imports witnessed a 95% fall to 11.6 tonnes
Demand for gold in India in the second quarter of 2020 fell by 70 percent in volume terms and 57 percent in value terms due to COVID-19 lockdowns and high prices. The demand was at 63.7 tonnes in April-June period, compared to 213.2 tonnes in the second quarter of last calendar year. In value terms, sales were Rs 26,600 crore, where as the same period sales in 2019 were Rs 62,420 crore, said data released by the World Gold Council, which tracks gold sales globally.

Demand for jewellery also decreased by 74% at 44 tonnes as compared to Q2 2019 sales of 168.6 tonnes. In value terms, jewellery sales were down by 63% to Rs 18,350 crore where as second quarter sales in 2019 were Rs 49,380 crore. Despite the pandemic and volatile markets, total investment demand for Q2 2020 fell by 56 percent to 19.8 tonnes, when compared to the 44.5 tonnes in the previous year. In value terms, the investment was down by 37% to Rs 8,250 crore. Total gold recycled in India in Q2 2020 was 13.8 tonnes, down 64% compared to 37.9 tonnes in Q2 2019. Total gold imports witnessed a 95% fall during the period at  11.6 tonnes, from 247.4 tonnes in second quarter of last year, said the data.

In the first half of the year, jewellery demand witnessed a drop of 60 percent in volumes and 48 percent in value to 117.8 tonnes and Rs 45,580  crore, respectively. In the first half of 2019, jewellery demand was 294.1 tonnes and valued Rs 86,450 crore.

"Q2 2020 was defined by lockdowns and high prices, both of which acted in combination to keep India's gold demand record low at 63.7 tonnes, down 70%. Sales trend during the window of opportunity afforded by relaxation of lockdown in select cities, do point to healthy latent demand that should surface once COVID turbulence is behind us. Demand for jewellery dropped by 74% to 44 tonnes, in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty where weddings were postponed or just turned out to be uncharacteristically quiet and private", said Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.

Gold price is currently at life-time high of over Rs 50,000 per 10 grams, and have risen by 60% since January 2019 and 20% since January 2020.

Also read: Gold price climbs to all-time high of Rs 53,297; silver above Rs 65K mark

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