The bounceback in the Indian gold market continued last month.
Indian gold imports hit a 21-month high in February and there was robust retail demand.
This comes on the heels of a 72% year-on-year increase in gold imports in January.
Some policy shifts recently announced by the Indian government in its Union Budget will likely have a positive impact on the country’s gold market. India ranks as the second-largest gold-consuming country in the world, second only behind China.
The three key policy changes that will likely affect the gold market are:
Last month, we reported on signs of revival in the Indian gold market. Gold imports hit a 19-month high in December.
That revival has continued into 2021. Gold imports in January were up 72% year-on-year, and some shifts in government policy could give demand another shot in the arm.
India ranks as the second-largest gold consuming country in the world, second only behind China. But over the last couple of years, the gold market in India has languished due to a combination of record-high gold prices in rupee terms and the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. But were signs of revival in the Indian gold market last month.
Gold has helped Indians weather the economic storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The government response to COVID-19 has ravaged the Indian economy. As a result, many banks are reluctant to extend credit due to fear of defaults. In this tight lending environment, many Indians are using their stashes of gold to secure loans.
According to the report, the RBI is mulling upping its gold holdings from the current level of 6.5% of total reserves to 10%. As part of the move, the Indian central bank would also lower its holdings of US Treasuries.
Gold just wrapped up a strong quarter, up 13%, and finishing at the highest price level in over eight years. On the year, gold is up about 16% and many mainstream analysts are starting to eyeball record gold prices in the coming months. But there has been some drag on the gold market, particularly sluggish consumer demand in the East – particularly in India.
That could be changing.
Gold is serving as a lifeline for beleaguered Indians in the midst of severe credit crunch.
The government response to the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the Indian economy. As a result, many banks are reluctant to extend credit due to fear of defaults. In this tight lending environment, many Indians are using their stashes of gold to secure loans.
The silver market in India has enjoyed massive growth over the last several years. Demand for the white metal has increased from around 3,000 to 6,000
tons over the last five years, according to Chirag Thakkar, CEO of the Indian bullion company Amrapali Gujarat.
The Silver Institute interviewed Thakkar for the latest edition of Silver News.
Gold has become a lifeline for Indians in the midst of a severe credit crunch.
When the state-run lender refused to extend Babasaheb Mandlik credit, he used his wife’s gold jewelry as collateral for a loan in order to buy cotton seeds before the summer sowing season window closed.