Jewellers and gold traders expect a favourable Akshaya Tritiya this year (Monday), with gold prices falling in the past few days.
"We see coin demand outpacing jewellery demand this Akshaya Tritiya because at the current prices, the demand is more investor-driven than consumer-driven," said Umesh Parekh, managing director, Shree Ganesh Jewellery House.
Bullion experts say the long-term view for gold prices was negative. Therefore, jewellers expect the demand for coins or bars to be greater. "Last year, jewellery sales accounted for 90 per cent of the total sales, while coins accounted for 10 per cent. This year, we expect the share of coins to increase to about 20 per cent during Akshaya Tritiya," Parekh said.
PC Jeweller expects 50 per cent growth in coin sales. "At current prices, it is more attractive to invest in coins," said Ramesh Kumar Sharma, chief operating officer, PC Jeweller.
Many jewellers have announced lucrative offers to attract customers during the occasion. While Shree Ganesh Jewellery House has announced it would do away with making charges on diamond and ruby jewellery, and introduce a flat making charge of Rs 90/g for all other jewellery, PC Jeweller has announced discounts and free gold coins on diamond and gold jewellery purchases. It has also offered a fixed five per cent discount on the first instalment of the 'jewels-for-less' scheme.
Considering the robust demand for gold coins, the World Gold Council has tied up with India Post and Reliance Money to offer a discount of seven per cent on daily prices for the purchase of gold coins from post offices across the country.
From a peak of Rs 33,000/10g last year, gold prices have corrected to about Rs 26,900/10g. On the Multi-Commodity Exchange, the June gold contract stands at Rs 26,784/10g.
"There has been a significant fall in gold prices. This has triggered investor demand from across the country. On Akshaya Tritiya, we expect 90 per cent of the demand for investment purposes, including coins and bars," said Suresh Hundia, former president of the Bombay Bullion Association.
"The mood is upbeat among gold buyers. We are expecting grand sales this Akshaya Tritiya, driven by investor, as well as jewellery, demand," said Rajesh Mehta of Rajesh Exports. The company also sells jewellery in the Indian markets through its retail chains.
Analysts believe gold prices are subject to various factors, including the global economic scenario. They think the recent recovery in gold prices from the sudden fall last month wouldn't be sustained. "There are chances of a further fall in gold prices from this level. Once the marriage season ends after May, there would be a fall in demand. Also, factors such as monsoon and US economic conditions play crucial roles in future gold prices," said an analyst with a Mumbai-based brokerage.