Make in India concept is at-least working for bullion industry in India. At 89.8 tons, India's unrefined gold import in the first three quarters of 2018 was highest since the country started refining gold.
The reason for increasing import of dore, year after year, is that post GST implementation refining disparities have nullified and industry is actively pursuing global gold mines to ensure enough supplies.
James Jose, secretary, Association of Gold Refineries and Mints said, “we estimate in 2018 India will be meeting 50 per cent of the domestic gold demand by gold refined in India. Last year we met 40 per cent of domestic demand from Indian refined gold.”
Last year, India’s gold jewellery demand was little over 600 tons, of which little over 40 per cent was met by India refined gold as dore (unrefined gold) was 250 tons. In first three quarters of 2018, dore demand stands at around 419 tons while import is at 218 tons, little more than 50 per cent.
Previously, dore was largely imported from Ghana and US but now Peru will also see high Indian demand. In September quarter, import from Peru has increased. Earlier, Ghana was a big supplier of dore to Indian refineries. But due to their domestic issues, import from the country has come down.
Jose expects that refineries in India are improving their capacity utilisation by making industry level efforts to ensure supply of dore. Last month an industry delegation of gold refiners visited Peru and met its ministers, the Indian envoy and several reliable gold mines, looking to sign long-term contracts for dore supply. As several such contracts are being finalised, import of unrefined gold from Peru is expected to grow further.