India’s gold consumption could jump to 600 tonnes in 2021: World Gold Council

India’s gold consumption could jump to 600 tonnes in 2021: World Gold Council

Gold consumption in India could jump to close to 600 tonnes in 2021, according to the World Gold Council (WGC), boosted by strong demand in the fourth quarter which has two big festivals – Dhanteras and Diwali. Demand stood at 450 tonnes in 2020.

In the first nine months of 2021, India’s gold consumption stood at 360 tonnes, driven mostly by demand for jewellery.

WGC on Thursday released its report on gold demand in the third quarter of 2021. It pegged it at 139.1 tonnes, up by 47% when compared with overall Q3 demand for 2020. Total jewellery demand in India for Q3 of 2021 increased by 58% from the year-ago quarter to 96.2 tonnes. Total investment demand for Q3 2021 stood at 42.9 tonnes—a 27% increase from the year-ago period.

“In the first nine months of 2021, the supply of gold in the country has been 730 tonnes. Of this, 360 tonnes have been consumed as of now,” Somasundaram PR, regional CEO, India, WGC, told ET. “Of the rest 370 tonnes, we are expecting that around 200-250 tonnes will be consumed as there is a huge pent-up demand in the market. The wedding season offtake will be there. Jewellery will drive the demand in Q4. So, overall demand for 2021 will be in the range of 550-600 tonnes.”

Total net bullion import in Q3 2021 was 255.6 tonnes, a 187% increase when compared with 89 tonnes in Q3 2020, as jewellers restocked for the upcoming festival and wedding season. The restocking was aided by a drop in prices of the yellow metal.

Somasundaram said, “India’s Q3 2021 gold demand at 139.1 tonnes is a 47% jump over 2020, reflecting a combination of low base effect and return of positive trade and consumer sentiments. This is primarily driven by what appears to be a firm grip on the pandemic with higher vaccination rates and falling infection rates, leading to a strong rebound in economic activity.”

The WGC executive said that with restrictions being gradually lifted across the country, retail demand could bounce back to pre-Covid levels. “With the upcoming festive and wedding season, there is all the more enthusiasm towards gold demand, and we anticipate it to be the busiest gold-buying season since the start of Covid,” Somasundaram said.

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