Gold bar imports down by 40%

Written by Dhimant Bhatt | Mumbai, Aug 27 | Updated: Aug 28 2008, 05:55am hrs
For the second consecutive month, gold bar imports into the country have declined by nearly 40% in July compared to previous year due to higher global prices.

Gold bar imports in the value term have come down from $298.36 million to $179.15 million in July 2008 over the same month last year, according to latest figures released by Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

In June 2008, gold bar imports in the value term also declined to $163.83 million from $360.41 million in July 2007, down by half.

Gold bar imports were down last month as global prices were at higher levels and London gold was traded between $900 and $950 an ounce during the month. Weaker rupee value against dollar has also impacted the trade as rupee was around Rs 43-level last month compared to Rs 41-level in July 2007, a leading gold importer said.

On the other hand, gold jewellery exports from the country were stagnant at $1,451.50 million during the April-July 2008 period against $1,439.97 in the same period last year. Gold bars and rough diamonds are the basic raw material for the gem and jewellery sector.

Rough diamond imports in the volume term have also decreased by about 18.24% to 160.5 lakh carats in July 2008 from 196.33 lakh carats over the previous year mainly due to tight supplies and price hike of roughs announced by Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in last months sight.

In the value term, rough diamonds imports increased by 6% to $1,137.88 million from $1,072.19 million as there is a shortage of rough diamonds in the international markets, a local trader said.