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Monday, December 06, 2021

Gujarat: Gold sales zoom on Dhanteras as customers make up for ‘lost year’

The sales were high as the demand, suppressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, found an outlet after the recent ease of restrictions and the spread of the virus on the wane, the jewellers said.

Written by Gopal Kateshiya, KAMAAL SAIYED & ADITI RAJA | Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara |
Updated: November 2, 2021 10:19:08 pm
A woman tries gold ornaments at a jewellery showroom on the occasion of Dhanteras festival. (PTI)

JEWELLERS’ STREETS across the state were crowded Tuesday as people thronged showrooms for purchasing ornaments for weddings, which were postponed due to Covid-19, as well as to purchase gold and silver coins on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras. Jewellers said the sales were high as the demand, suppressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, found an outlet after the recent ease of restrictions and the spread of the virus on the wane.

“The sales being reported are more than double compared to a normal year, largely due to rescheduling of marriages, which were put on hold due to Covid-19, after Diwali as well as those who had postponed investment decisions now feeling safe to venture out,” said Jagdish Soni, president of Gems and Jewellery Association, Rajkot (GJAR).

The rush was more in the retail consumer segment than the investors’ segment. “There was a rush from people who purchase jewellery for some occasion. In addition, those who buy gold for certain festivals but could not for almost two years due to the pandemic have now found a window. Also, gold has been an investment asset that has been giving good returns even as bank interest rates on deposits are declining. These factors have propelled sales, despite gold prices being high,” said Soni.

Rajkot-based jeweller Mayur Adesara echoes Soni. “The sales were good during Gurupushya Nakshatra. The bookings for jewellery to be delivered on Dhanteras were also good that day. Though we are a small outlet, we got 35 customers today,” he said.

The expectations of an upcoming, restriction-free marriage season also helped, added Adesara, who is also the secretary of GJAR. “For almost two years, people were neither able to organise functions nor freely move out of their homes. But the marriage season this year is likely to be with fewer restrictions. So, the sales are very high,” he said, before adding, “We estimate around 150 kg to 200 kg gold to be sold this Dhanteras.”

Bhaya Saholiya, president of Rajkot Gold Dealers Association (RGDA), said there was significant demand for gold from those in the agriculture sector. “While industries and businesses were hit hard and had come to a halt due to Covid-19-related restrictions, the agriculture sector had flourished. So people from that segment are also purchasing big time. The sales are high as more people purchased jewellery and gold this year rather than a few purchasing the precious metal in bulk,” said Saholiya. “The Dhanteras muhurta is good till Wednesday afternoon and this will boost the sales even further,” he added.

Jewellery showrooms in Vadodara, too, witnessed a huge crowd. According to a prominent city-based jeweller, buyers of the yellow metal thronged showrooms on Dhanteras to “make up for last year”. “The number of customers has increased three times this year, including our regular customers and new buyers. The pandemic had taken the sheen off the festivals last year. This year, however, many customers have purchased gold on Dhanteras for the belief that it will bring back prosperity to their business and homes… Smaller denominations of gold coins were in great demand for buyers making a symbolic purchase while the regular buyers also opted for diamond jewellery in gold as well as silver,” the jeweller said, on the condition of anonymity.

The jeweller added that the Dhanteras sales outdid that on Pushya Nakshatra, which was also a heavy rush day last week. “It is difficult to estimate the value of gold that will be purchased today but one can certainly say that it will exceed Rs 50 crore in the city — it did even on Pushya Nakshatra. And, Dhanteras has a bigger rush,” said another jeweller Vadodara.

He added that a lot of people have opted for a symbolic purchase since gold prices were above Rs 48,000 Tuesday. “At our showroom, we have a bigger stock of gold coins in the denominations of 2 grams, 5 grams, and 10 grams. There are also many who exchange an old piece of jewellery for new and pay the difference amount as the symbolic Dhanteras purchase,” he added.

The story was no different in Ahmedabad. “Sales have been at least 25 percent higher as compared to last year, largely thanks to easing of restrictions and rescheduled marriages. Also, there is a segment of consumers who purchase a gold or silver coin on Dhanteras,” said Ashish Zaveri, spokesperson for Jewellers’ Association, Ahmedabad.

Jewellers were all smiles in Surat after the higher sales of diamond-studded gold jewellery, besides the normal gold and silvery jewellery. Market functionaries said the sales had crossed Rs 100 crore by late evening. “In 2019, the sales were close to Rs 80 crore and was nearly Rs 60 crore last year. This year, the sales have boomed to over Rs 100 crore in the city. This shows that those who had not made purchases in 2020 have bought this year. Since the past few months, there is a boom in all sectors of industries and at last, our industry has also benefitted,” said Salim Daginawala, president of Surat jewellers Association.

Indian Bullion Jewellers’ Association’s Nainesh Pacchhigar said customers are taking advantage of lower gold prices this year compared to last year. “This year we have seen a rise in the sales of light-weight jewellery. The sales of coins have also gone down this year. The gold prices are also lower as compared to last year and customers took advantage of it to shop for the upcoming wedding season. We have covered sales of the last two years in the current year sales,” he added.

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