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Falling gold prices boost jewellery demand up by 10-20%

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KOLKATA: India’s jewellery demand has increased by 10-20% this month compared with December with the fall in gold prices prompting consumers to place orders now for weddings slated for the next quarter.

This year, April, May and June have the most number of wedding dates. Also, most of the marriages that were postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak are taking place during this period, raising the demand for jewellery.

Jewellers said demand is up by 10-20% compared with December, when prices were ruling over Rs 50,000 per 10 gm. Price of 24 carat gold is now hovering around Rs 48,900 per 10 gm and that of 22 carat gold, which is used for making jewellery, is hovering around Rs 47,900 per 10 gm.

“Demand has revived in the last ten days as the fear of Covid is going away with the arrival of the vaccine,” Anantha Padmanabhan, managing director of Chennai-based NAC Jewellers, told ET. “People have started visiting stores and are placing orders for the wedding season. Also, a drop in prices is helping an increase in consumption. At our stores, we are seeing demand up by almost 20% compared to December.”

Gold had crossed Rs 57,000 per 10 gm mark in August due to the viral outbreak, uncertainty over the US presidential election, and souring of ties between the US and China over tariffs. From the peak of Rs 57,000 per 10 gm, gold prices have fallen by Rs 8,000 per 10 gm or 16.5%.

Aditya Pethe, director of Mumbai-based Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers, said, “There has been a revival in demand for gold jewellery from Diwali onwards. The demand continues to remain good in January as the wedding season is coming. What is more interesting is that now the demand has started coming in from tier 1 cities and metros as life is returning to normalcy in these areas.”

Mumbai-based Ishu Datwani, founder of Anmol Jewellers, said where there is need-based buying, price sensitivity does not affect demand or the buying as much as it would have if one were an investor. “So, when consumers are buying for a wedding, they are not so concerned by changes in price. We are seeing a nice and steady trend where brides and their families are coming to buy for the wedding,” he said.

Vaibhav Saraf, director, Aisshpra Gems and Jewels, in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, said the market has picked up due to a correction in prices. “We have been witnessing positive footfall for wedding shopping. Customers are doing their purchases in advance for the April-May weddings. There is a positive sentiment for both gold and diamond jewellery for weddings,” he said.

Meanwhile, the sharp rise in price of gold by 20% has reset consumers’ expectation of a new normal.

Somasundaram PR, managing director, India, World Gold Council, recently said that higher risk of stock prices driven by liquidity, low interest rates, coupled with the inevitable return of family and social occasions and the experiential value of gold buying will release pent-up demand.

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