October 20, 2020

Gold demand: India’s 2020 gold demand might hit 26-year low as costs rally: WGC

MUMBAI: India’s gold demand in 2020 is predicted to fall to the bottom stage in 26 years with home bullion costs hitting a document excessive and as falling disposable incomes may curtail retail purchases, the World Gold Council (WGC) mentioned on Thursday.

Decrease demand by the world’s second-biggest bullion shopper may restrict a rally in international costs, which hit a document excessive earlier this month, though it may additionally scale back India’s commerce deficit and help the ailing rupee.

“Quick rising gold costs may act as headwinds,” mentioned Somasundaram PR, the managing director of WGC’s Indian operations.

Native gold futures have jumped 35% thus far this yr after rising 1 / 4 in 2019.

India’s gold consumption within the first half of 2020 plunged 56% on-year to 165.6 tonnes. In the meantime, the coronavirus-triggered lockdown additionally slashed demand by 70% within the June quarter to 63.7 tonnes, the bottom in additional than a decade, the WGC mentioned in a report printed on Thursday.

Tens of millions of Indians have misplaced their jobs or taken a pay minimize after the nation imposed a lockdown on its 1.three billion individuals to curb the unfold of the virus that has contaminated greater than 1.5 million Indians.

Consumption is usually excessive through the June quarter as a consequence of weddings and key festivals corresponding to Akshaya Tritiya, however lockdown restrictions stored consumers indoors this yr.

The weak demand within the first half may drag down India’s gold consumption in 2020 to the bottom since 1994, when demand stood at 415 tonnes, Somasundaram mentioned, including that it’s nonetheless troublesome to offer an estimate for full-year demand because the coronavirus disaster remains to be unfolding.

“Indian demand has beforehand jumped as a lot as 300 tonnes in 1 / 4. Latent demand may come out within the second half,” Somasundaram mentioned.