India's gold imports may touch 800 tonne
In 2011, the net imports for domestic consumption stood at 969 tonne.
"The first two quarters the demand was not that great following economic downturn, monsoon deficit, duty issues and jewellers strike, high prices. However, it picked up last month in the festival season and this year we expect the gold demand to be around 800 tonne," WGC Director, Investment, Amresh Achrya said.
2011, he said, was an extraordinary year and the demand was very high and so were the imports. In the long run, he said, the demand for the precious metal remains strong.
Talking about China, he said, even as the demand during quarter three was weak, it is picking up. Quarter four in China is usually strong due to festival season.
"By the end of this year, we still hope that China may still become the largest importer of the yellow metal overtaking India by a whisker," he said.
India is just 20 tonne ahead of China at present.
China is not only becoming one of the largest consumer, but also is one of the major producers. "The jewellery demand in China is very high, driving the imports," WGC Director, Investment, Stephen Richardson said.
Jewellery is the largest growth driver for the yellow metal. However, with increasing awareness, gold electronic traded fund (ETF) is gaining ground globally, he said.
"The investment is catching up
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