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Recording a three-fold jump, India's gold imports rose to USD 3.85 billion in April, mainly on account of Akshaya Tritiya. Gold imports stood at USD 1.23 billion in April last year, as per official data released today. Imports of the precious metal were on a decline between February and September last year.
They grew in October and November but again dipped in December and January. In February and March, they recorded high growth rates. In March this year, gold imports had risen to USD 4.17 billion from USD 974 million in the same month previous year. Surge in gold imports in April contributed to the widening of trade deficit to USD 13.2 billion as against USD 4.84 billion in April 2016. Silver imports too grew by 61 per cent to USD 353 million in April. India is the world's second biggest gold consumer after China. The imports mainly take care of demand by the jewellery industry. In volume terms, India imported 560.32 tonnes of gold during April-January period of the last fiscal. At present, gold import attracts 10 per cent duty. The gems and jewellery industry along with the commerce ministry have time and again urged the Finance Ministry to consider a cut in the import duty. During April to December period of last fiscal ended March 31, the current account deficit halved to 0.7 per cent, from 1.4 per cent a year ago. The surge in gold imports in April is on account of low base effect and the increase in demand due to Akshaya Tritiya, which fell on April 28. ICRA Ltd said that the surge in imports was led by restocking, as well as festive season demand. "The volume of gold imports is likely to taper off in the coming months," it said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)