Last week, there was some significant news out of India that could further boost the country’s gold market.
The Indian government will now allow banks to engage in gold bullion business – including holding, buying, selling, hedging and leveraging the yellow metal. Under current rules, banks can only serve as a consignment or channeling agent in the import of gold bullion for jeweler and exporters.
The loosening of regulations could increase a gold market that already ranks as the second-largest in the world behind only China.
Last Friday, I told you where you can get coffee with real gold mixed into it. It’s part of this trend of edible gold. People are mixing gold into all kinds of foods — even beer and chicken wings. Like I said last week, I think people like to eat gold because it seems indulgent and decadent. Not my thing, but I get it. But you know what? There’s a more pragmatic reason to eat gold.
US stock markets plunged Wednesday, shedding over 800 points. Could the be the popping bubble Ron Paul recently said was on the horizon? That remains to be seen. But equities in many emerging markets have been shedding value for several months. Take India for instance. As a recent article in the Economic Times of India put it, “Asset classes are in a state of churn. One look at the chaos in domestic equities is enough to suggest that not all is well with this segment.”
So what are Indian investors doing? Buying gold.
After hitting their highest level in 15 months in August, analysts expect Indian gold imports to continue climbing in the fourth quarter.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) bought gold for the first time in nearly a decade during its last fiscal year.
The Indian central bank added 8.46 tons of gold during the fiscal year ending June 30, according to its latest annual report. The additional yellow metal brings India’s total gold reserves to 566.23 tons.
The last time the RBI bought gold was in November 2009. The Economic Times of India called the central bank’s decision to add to its gold reserves “significant.”
Indians are buying gold.
Imports of the yellow metal into India jumped for the first time in seven months in July and the trend appears to be carrying forward into August, according to a report in the Times of India. Gold sales have surged 15% by volume over last year as Indians took advantage of soft prices and kicked off the wedding and festival season early.
According to jeweler associations in India, demand could finish up as much as 20% in August compared with 2017.
Gold imports into India jumped for the first time in seven months in July as jewelers replenished stocks.
Indian gold purchases surged 44.2% year-on-year to 75 tons.
India ranks as the number two consumer of gold in the world. According to a Reuters report, increased demand, “could support global prices,” which are struggling to hold ground in a strong dollar environment.
Analysts expect demand for gold in India to surge in the second half of the year thanks to a good outlook for farmers.
A good start to the rainy season along with higher minimum support (MSP) for summer crops should boost the gold trade, according to a report in the Economic Times of India. Analysts expect a 25% increase in gold demand compared to the second half of last year.
Analysts say demand for gold in India will likely rise in the second half of the year thanks to a good monsoon season. Increasing demand for gold in the world’s second-largest market could help boost overall global demand for the yellow metal.
According to NDTV, monsoon rains hit Kerela at the end of May. This was a few days earlier than usual and bolstered an optimistic outlook for agricultural and economic output.
World Gold Council chief market strategist John Reade recently talked to Commodity TV about the current state of the gold market and what he sees in the future.
Reade cast an optimistic tone, saying the supply and demand fundamentals point toward a healthy, growing gold market moving forward.