Author: Shivom Seth
As goldsmiths start stocking for Diwali in India, Gujarat takes the lead by doubling gold imports in October
The state of Gujarat that got its first gold temple in May this year, with gold-plated spires adorning the facade, is again leading the country in gold imports.
While figures from across India show a decline in gold imports, Gujarat has imported 23.7 tonnes of the precious metal in the month to October 25, as compared to 12.7 tonnes in September. The end of the month will have the state exceeding 30 tonnes, ahead of Diwali.
A good demonstration of the state's affinity for the yellow metal is the Gopinathji Dev Mandir temple, some 125 km from Ahmedabad that has been decorated with gold-plated spires. Around 70 kilo of gold worth nearly $11.13 billion (Rs 210 million) was used to plate the spires.
A special event marked the formal opening of the golden temple in May, which sees around 1,500 to 2,000 devotees on a daily basis. On special days, like the full moon, which incidentally falls on October 30, nearly 40,000 people are expected to pay obeisance at the temple.
Elsewhere too, imports of gold are set to rise given the festivities ahead. "There is a lull in prices for the past few weeks. The onset of the festival season has boosted gold and trading is expected to pick up,'' said Manish Shah, bullion retailer and export house owner.
Added diamond exporter Satishbhai Jethamull, "Buyers are looking for avenues to buy gold and the rupee movement has been favourable given the lower calculation in rupee terms."
The World Gold Council had recently pointed out that India's gold imports in the second quarter plunged over 56% to 131 tonnes. With prices having slid from the all-time high of $599.21 (Rs 32,400) per 10 gram in the previous month, customers have come back to retail outlets finding the current prices quite lucrative. Prices of the yellow metal have dipped below $573.43 (Rs 31,000) per 10 gram this month.
Since October 1, gold prices in the international market have lost 3.54% in dollar terms as prices moved from $1,774 per ounce to $1,711 per ounce. In rupee terms, gold moved down from Rs 31,090 per 10 gram to Rs 30,775 per 10 gram, a loss of 1.01%.
Incidentally, gold prices in the last 10 years in Gujarat have moved from $79.54 (Rs 4,300) in 2001 to $541.62 (Rs 29,280) for 10 grams mid-2012. On October 30, the price of gold in the state was up Rs 290 at $578.07 (Rs 31,225) for 10 grams.
With the state recording sales of 500 kilo of gold sold in one day on Akshay Tritiya, any small dip in prices is sure to get the customers flocking to the nearest jewellery store.