New Delhi/Mumbai: For some Gold may well just be "Aurum", a yellow looking metal featuring on the periodic table. Well, that is not how Indians might want to define Gold as.
And, that drab definition is certainly not what underlines the sentiment during Akshaya Tritiya, the festival of buying Gold. Indians are reported as having purchased a record quantity of Gold this Akshaya Tritiya that arrived on May 7, 2019.
The auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya saw Indians buying at least four more tons of Gold compared to the previous year. According to Surendra Mehta, National Secretary of the India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), Indians bought 23-tonnes of the yellow metal on this auspicious day.
According to World Gold Council, India's demand of Gold in the first quarter was reported at 125.4 tonnes. And, Indians ended up buying nearly twenty percent of that in one day, in fact barely a few hours [Akshaya Tritiya buying window is available for a few hours].
Other market sources too chimed in detailing of the Great Indian Akshaya Tritiya Festival. Experts including jewellers have attributed this to a sudden decrease in gold prices.
"On this day of Akshaya Tritiya, we are seeing healthy double-digit growth as compared to last year. We are looking at healthy gold and diamond jewellery sales in the next few hours till the end of the day's closing," said Sandeep Kulhalli, Sr. Vice President-Retail and Marketing, Tanishq.
Augmont, a digital platform for consumers to buy gold also saw a frenzy in sales. "This Akshaya Tritiya, Augmont saw 5 times more sales with comparison to their regular output through both their digital platform and channel platform," said the firm's Director Sachin Kothari.
"The festive sentiment amongst both trade and consumers appears to be stronger this year. A favourable price offers a good seasonal opportunity for wedding purchases, which underpin Indian jewellery demand. Various trade offers and promotions point towards an increase in demand for both jewellery as well as investment products like coins and bars," said Somasundaram P.R., Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.
"Although a nascent trend, digital gold buying platforms are quite upbeat at this time as they continue to grow at a fast rate, offering consumers the option of purchasing pure gold for as little as one rupee on their smartphone and at their convenience. In spite of the elections, all the indicators point towards a good buying season this Akshaya Tritiya in comparison to the previous year," added Somasundaram.
Besides a moderate slip in price, many jewellers also enticed customers through offers and discounts. Offers include a discount on making charges. For instance, many stores of Malabar Gold & Diamonds were reportedly offering a discount in the range of 50%. A handful of Titan showrooms were offering a discount of up to 25%.
The optimism around Akshaya Tritiya was so enormous that Ahammed MP, Chairman of Malabar Gold and Diamonds was quoted in a Bloomberg report as saying, "A higher sales volume is expected as compared with last year and in percentage terms, we can expect sales growth of around 15-20 percent."
Kalyan jewellers in association with State Bank of India was reportedly offering a 5% cashback of up to Rs 2500 on Gold transactions.
Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman of PN Gadgil Jewellers and National Vice President for IBJA too shared his positive sentiments. He spoke on growing footfalls in PNG's showrooms on Akshaya Tritiya day.
"Footfalls are good as there is a positive sentiment. Despite being a working day and sweltering heat, there has been steady stream of people coming in to pick up pre- booked jewellery and also some token items from the morning. But the momentum gathered more steam after office hours and we expect more pick in the volume through the rest of the night," he was reported as saying in a PTI story.
Akshaya Tritiya sales in past years had failed to create such an impact. The last two festive seasons were marred by lower than anticipated footfalls, Gold soaring over the sentimental Rs 30,000 levels for the first time, and even the applicability of GST.
Although sales had been good in pockets of metros last year, not many jewellery chains spoke of footfalls as much as they had anticipated.
Ajay Kedia, Director of Kedia Commodity, said gold prices may observe a rebound in the coming months.
On February 20, gold prices had jumped to Rs 34,031 per 10 grams on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX). After that, gold prices have widely fluctuated.
Kedia said that gold closed at Rs 31,563 per 10 grams on MCX a day before Akshaya Tritiya on Monday, and because of the low prices there was a buying frenzy. Because of hectic buying on Akshaya Tritiya, gold and silver prices saw a sharp rise on Wednesday.
The interest for the yellow metal may have taken a spike. This, owing to the sudden rise in global uncertainties and the corresponding behaviour of holding onto Gold, given the safe-haven nature.
The volatile markets, the growing uncertainties courtesy US President Donald Trump's persistence of tariff and impositions on Iran and the probability that these might cause the Dollar to dip and thereby improve Gold prices are equations that experts believe will lead to a better Gold price.
For the record, international Gold prices have slipped from levels of $1340 per ounce on 19th Feb 2019 to $1280 per ounce on Thursday. The US-China trade dispute was reported as one that could drive short term price action. Volatility also stems from the premise that China's trade figures are reportedly down from last year and this might give the perception of a de-accelerating Chinese economy. A de-accelerating Chinese economy could mean a drop in Gold sales in China, a country that tops the global Gold buyers list [India remains second].
The equations could change, but experts concur that volatility indeed is around the corner, and this could spur buying Gold and thereby increase the rates in the short-term. It would take a contextual analysis to understand by what margin Gold prices would increase. But, jewellers are indeed optimistic and so are traders and brokerage firms.
Coming back to India, the Mumbai bullion market on Wednesday saw price of 22-carat gold at Rs 32,700 per 10 grams, an increase of Rs 255 from last session. The price of 24-carat gold rose by Rs 255 to Rs 32,850 per 10 grams. In Delhi, the price of 22-carat gold was Rs 32,750 per 10 grams and 24-carat gold was at Rs 32,900 per 10 grams. An increase of Rs 310 could be seen in the price of gold in Delhi. The price is inclusive of three per cent Goods and Services Tax.
With inputs from IANS.
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