Gold imports by India hit decade high as jewelry demand doubles

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Gold imports by India accelerated to the highest level in a decade last year as jewelry sales almost doubled, with the demand outlook remaining bright, according to the World Gold Council.

Demand revived after two bleak years as Indians once again flocked to jewelry stores in 2021 as fears of the pandemic eased. Weddings and celebrations picked up in full swing in the three months through December, more than doubling full-year imports to about 925 tons, the highest since 2011, according to the council data.

“Starting 2022, you will see demand setting up a new normal toward 800-850 tons,” compared with an average of 667 tons in the five years through 2020, said P.R. Somasundaram, regional chief executive officer for India at the London-based group. The next few years will be key as policy reforms and technology let gold evolve into a more transparent mainstream asset class, he said.

Total demand for jewelry, coins and bars jumped 79% to 797 tons last year, the data showed. Covid-19 and its variants, global concerns on inflation, interest rates and geo-political developments will remain factors to watch in 2022, he said.

(By Swansy Afonso)

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