Driven by dip in global prices, India’s gold imports increased by 85.16 per cent to USD 2.91 billion last month.
In January last year, were worth USD 1.57 billion, according to the Commerce Ministry data.
In December 2015, the imports of the metal had more than doubled, year-on-year, to USD 3.80 billion.
The prices have been declining at global as well as domestic markets. However, the higher import impacts the country’s current account deficit (CAD).
India is the largest importer of gold in the world, the demand of which mostly comes from the jewellery industry.
During the April-January period of the current fiscal, gold imports have increased to USD 29.36 billion as against USD 27.42 billion in the first 10 months of 2014-15.
For the entire 2014-15 fiscal, gold was the third-largest commodity imported to India after crude oil and electronic items. Gold imports stood at USD 34.32 billion last fiscal.
In terms of volume, India — the world’s second-biggest gold consumer — had imported around 900 tonnes in 2014.
Gold prices in the international market have fallen to a five-year low.
India imported 850 tonnes of gold during January-September period of 2015, as against 650 tonnes in the year-ago period.
In the July-September quarter of the current fiscal, CAD rose to USD 8.2 billion or 1.6 per cent of the GDP, from 1.2 per cent or USD 6.1 billion in the April-June quarter.