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Jan gold imports dive 93 pct: Association

India's gold imports plunged more than 90 per cent to just 1.2 tonnes in January 2009.

Written by Reuters | Mumbai |
January 29, 2009 11:10:07 am

India’s gold imports plunged more than 90 per cent to just 1.2 tonnes in January 2009,from 18 tonnes at the same month last year,due to high prices and ample stocks,the Bombay Bullion Association said on Thursday.

“Banks have a lot of carryover stocks from December and also November. That’s why imports were less. Prices were also high,” Suresh Hundia,president of the association,said.

“Imports in January were at 1.2 to 1.8 tonnes,” said Hundia,adding that the final numbers for January imports would be issued in early February.

Some dealers said news of a sharp drop in Indian gold imports put pressure on the price of cash gold,which was trading below a three-month high above $900 an ounce hit on Monday.

India is the world’s largest gold consumer,devouring 800 tonnes of bullion annually,mostly as jewellery. It also recycles about 200 tonnes of gold every year.

Sales of scrap have picked up in India after bullion prices on the MCX gold futures rallied to their strongest in three months at 14,214 rupees per 10 grams on Tuesday — not far from an all-time high of 14,320 rupees struck on Oct. 10.

Local dealers said there had been a flow of Indians selling outdated or broken ornaments since prices rose above 14,000 rupees.

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