NEW DELHI – Gold imports by India, the world’s second-biggest market, are said to have slumped for a third consecutive month in November from a year earlier as supplies remain elevated in the local market and demand is slow.
Overseas purchases dropped to 91.5 metric tons, from 111 tons a year ago, according to a person familiar with the data, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Finance Ministry spokesman D.S. Malik declined to comment on the figures.
Demand in India is poised to revisit the seven-year low recorded in 2016 after tax and regulatory changes depressed sales, according to the World Gold Council. Consumption is more likely to be at the lower end of the range of 650 t to 750 t forecast in February, and close to the 666.1 t of last year, P.R. Somasundaram, MD for the WGC in India, said last month.
Supplies are ample in the local market, with inbound shipments in the first 11 months totaling 868.6 t, 68% higher than a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Imports boosted local inventories, after traders took advantage of regulations that allowed them to avoid taxes on purchases from certain countries before India tightened up the rules in October.