Gold import duty hike stalls orders
The government raised the import duty on bullion to 2% on value from the previous flat rate of R300 per 10 gm, and to 6% on value from R1,500 per kg on silver.“The activity is muted today as the initial reaction to the duty hike is not positive,” said Pinakin Vyas, assistant vice president with gold-importing IndusInd Bank in Mumbai.
“Though in the short-term, traders and consumers may hesitate to buy into higher prices, the increased duty is unlikely to have significant impact on India’s gold appetite in the longer term,” traders and analysts said.
“Sometime later, people will digest the price rise, but the impact will stay for a week or two,” said a Singapore-based dealer. India last raised gold import duty in February 2010. Its gold consumption that year soared 66%, data from the World Gold Council showed. Supporting the sentiment, the Indian rupee hit a two-month high against the dollar, which helps boost purchasing power of Indian gold buyers.
Premiums in Hong Kong and Singapore dropped a touch from a week earlier as bullion demand eased. In Hong Kong, gold bar premiums were quoted in the range of $1.50-$2 an ounce. Premiums in Singapore were about $1, down from as high as $1.30 last week.
“There is still a bit buying on Wednesday, but
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