India emerged as the strongest market for gold during 2010 with total demand rising by 66 per cent to 963 tonnes despite high prices,the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday.
“Last year has been a great year for gold globally,and especially for India and China. India emerged as the strongest market with total demand rising by 66 per cent at 963-tonnes amid strong economic growth. The outlook for this year is also robust,” WGC’s Managing Director (Middle-East and India),Ajay Mitra,told reporters here today.
Globally,the demand for gold during 2010 was at a 10-year high of 3,812 tonnes and thus India accounted for about 25 per cent of the global demand.
Mitra,however,said the government is likely to increase import duty on gold in the forthcoming budget which may marginally increase the price of the precious metal.
The import duty on gold currently stands at Rs 300 per 10 gram.
He said that while gold prices are likely to go up post-budget,more gold is likely to come into the country from the international market that would add significant revenues to the state exchequer.
The precious metal is currently pegged at USD 1,421 an ounce (about 30 grams) and little over Rs 20,000 per ten gram.
On last year’s performance,Mitra said the global demand for gold reached a 10-year high at 3,812-tonnes,up nine per cent YoY. In terms of value,the annual average demand surged 38 per cent to a record USD 150-billion.
The value of imports by India during 2010 worked out to about USD 38 billion.
The jewellery demand was remarkably robust rising 17 per cent from 1,760-tonnes in 2009 to 2,069 tonnes in 2010. While investment demand in terms of bars,coins and ETFs remained stable.
A structural shift in central bank policy towards gold also helped boost demand growth significantly,Mitra said.