New Delhi: India’s gold imports rose 53 per cent to 846 tonnes last year on strong domestic demand and lower global prices, according to MMTC-PAMP India.
The world’s second largest gold consumer had imported 550 tonnes of the metal in 2016.
“There has been a significant jump in the gold imports in 2017. Imports touched 846 tonnes,” MMTC-PAMP India President (Marketing) Vipin Raina told PTI.
In December 2017 alone, gold imports rose to 70 tonnes from 49 tonnes in the year-ago period, he said.
Raina said a strong festival and wedding season demand coupled with attractive global price situation led to increase in the volume of yellow metal imports.
Global prices of gold remained lower between USD 1,200 per ounce and USD 1,300 per ounce.
Now, they are ruling higher at above Rs 1,330 per ounce level. Industry experts said there was some impact on gold demand due to introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 3 per cent at the beginning of July 2017.
The jewellery trade struggled with the new tax system.
While organised retailers were well equipped to cope with the transition to GST, smaller and unorganised retailers faced difficulties, they added. Import duty on gold is 10 per cent at present.