Despite the buoyancy in the capital market, gold still glitters in India — the second largest gold hub after China — with demand for the yellow metal in the country rising by 159 tonnes for the January-March quarter (Q4) of fiscal 2019, up by 5 per cent as compared to 151.5 tonnes in the same period of last year.
According to the World Gold Council’s latest Gold Demand Trends report, India’s Q4 gold demand value was Rs 47,010 crore, a rise of 13 per cent in comparison with Rs 41,680 crore in the same period of last year. “Total jewellery demand in India for the latest quarter was up by 5 per cent at 125.4 tonnes as compared to 119.2 tonnes a year ago,” WGC said. The value of jewellery demand was Rs 37,070 crore, a rise of 13 per cent from Rs 32,790 crore last year.
WGC said total investment demand for the January-March 2019 was up by 4 per cent at 33.6 tonnes in comparison with 32.3 tonnes a year ago. In value terms, gold Investment demand was Rs 9,940 crore, a rise of 12 per cent from Rs. 8,890 crore last year.
Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council, said: “the strengthening of the rupee and the fall in local gold prices towards the later part of the quarter triggered a rise in India’s gold demand by 5 per cent in the quarter to 159 tonnes. Growth of 5 per cent in Indian jewellery demand to 125.4 tonnes uplifted global demand and boosted retail sentiment.” The increase in auspicious wedding days in Q1 2019 — three times as many as those in the first quarter in 2018 — was also crucial to the rise in gold demand. The stronger rupee also benefited investors, with demand for gold bars and coins rising by 4 per cent to 33.6 tonnes in the first quarter. While yet a nascent trend, digital platforms for buying gold continue to become popular, as internet investment gold providers forge effective market partnerships with UPI platforms and offer investors the option of purchasing pure gold for as little as one rupee on their smartphone, WGC said.
“Looking ahead, demand is likely to be boosted in Q2, due to traditional wedding season buying, the Akshaya Tritiya festival and rising crop prices. In addition to that, IMD has forecast that the monsoon will be normal this year which augurs well for the rural economy and gold. We estimate India’s gold demand to be positively impacted in 2019 and be in the range of 750 to 850 tonnes in 2019,” Somasundaram said.
Meanwhile, global gold demand grew to 1,053.3 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, up 7 per cent on same period last year, according to the World Gold Council. This year-on-year increase was largely due to continued growth in central bank buying, as well as growth in gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs).