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Slowdown sees 40 pc dip in gold, silver sales on Dhanteras
Mirroring slowdown in the economy, pre-Deepavali Dhanteras sale of gold and silver dipped by as much as 40 per cent as high prices and lower consumer spending hit demand.
Dhanteras, considered the most auspicious day in Hindu calendar for buying items ranging from precious metals to utensils, was a muted affair in most markets across the country with traders complaining of lesser footfall and reduced consumer spending.
On Friday, gold prices rose by Rs 220 to Rs 39,240 per 10 gram in the national capital, up by 20 per cent compared to 2018 Dhanteras when the rates stood at Rs 32,690 per 10 gram.
According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), about 6,000 kg of gold worth Rs 2,500 crore was estimated to have been sold till evening on Dhanteras day, as against 17,000 kg of gold worth Rs 5,500 crore on this auspicious day in 2018. “As per an estimate, there was a decline of business from 35 to 40 per cent which is a cause of major worry for the traders,” CAIT’s Gold and Jewellery Committee Chairman Pankaj Arora said in a statement. Sales were down as prices of both gold and silver have sharply increased from over last Dhanteras, which has weakened the demand, he said, adding it was perhaps the “most disappointed Dhanteras” for the traders in past more than 10 years. All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) Chairman Anantha Padmanaban said, “In volume terms, we expect sales to be 20 per cent less than last year. In terms of value, it will be same as last year because of higher prices.” Most consumers are going for token buying of lesser value and are waiting for price correction for purchase of wedding jewellery, he said.
The western region is doing brisk business compared to other regions as Dhanteras is an important festival of there, he added.
Meanwhile, Somasundaram PR, MD, India, World Gold Council , said “Gold has always been at the centre of festivals and gifting traditions in India. The increase in gold prices by over 20% in the last few months has reinforced buyers’ faith, as households that are long term holders of gold have seen their wealth grow by this rise in prices. The sharp rise in the gold price and deep discount in the bullion market impacted trade and the consumer outlook in Q3, but, Dhanteras seems to have changed this as was expected.”
Footfalls are reported to be better compared with the start of the season, and a long wedding season supported by a significantly higher number of auspicious occasions this quarter is expected to buoy buying.