India's gold imports plunged 99.9 per cent year-on-year in April to their lowest in nearly three decades as air travel was banned and jewellery shops were closed amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a government source said.
The world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 50 kilograms of gold in April, down from 110.18 tonnes a year ago, the source said on Monday, who is not authorised to speak to the media.
In value terms, April imports dropped to $2.84 million from to $3.97 billion a year ago, he added.
Business Standard earlier reported that India’s gold demand declined by a staggering 36 per cent during the January-March quarter, to hit the lowest quarterly figure in 11 years due to nationwide lockdown that has forced the closure of wholesale and retail showrooms.
Data compiled by the World Gold Council (WGC) showed India’s gold demand at 101.9 tonnes (worth $5.2 billion) for the January-March quarter, compared to 159 tonnes ($6.7 billion) in the corresponding period last year. Immediate after the Lehman crisis, India’s gold demand was reported at a mere 40.9 tonnes during January-March 2009.