India’s gold imports in October fell a third from a year earlier, dropping a fourth straight month as near record-high prices dampened festive buying in the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal, a government source said on Monday.
Lower imports by the South Asian country could cap gains in global prices that are trading near their highest level in more than six years, and may also help New Delhi bring down its trade deficit and support the rupee.
India fills nearly all of its gold demand through imports.
India imported 38 tonnes of gold in October, down 33 per cent from 57 tonnes a year earlier, the source said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.
In value terms, the October imports were at $1.84 billion, up 4.5 per cent from $1.76 billion last year, he said.
Higher gold prices badly affected retail purchases during the Diwali and Dussehra festivals, said Surendra Mehta, secretary of the India Bullion and Jewellers Association. This year Indians celebrated both the festivals - for which buying gold is considered auspicious - last month.