India Jan gold imports plunge to 17-month low on subdued demand: GFMS
MUMBAI: India's gold imports in January dropped to their lowest in 17 months as prices rebounded and buyers postponed purchases in expectation of cuts in the import tax, provisional data from precious metals consultancy GFMS and bank dealers showed.
The drop in purchases by India, the world's second-biggest consumer of gold after China, could weigh on global prices , which have risen over 7 per cent in eight weeks.
Lower gold imports could help the South Asian country to reduce its trade deficit that surged to the highest in more than three years in December.
The country's imports were 30 tonnes in January, down 37 per cent from 47.9 tonnes a year ago, Sudheesh Nambiath, a senior analyst with GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters, said on Monday.
"Last month the industry was expecting the duty cut in the budget. People were not willing to build inventory," Nambiath said.
The expectation of the duty cut in January prompted traders to offer the highest discount in four months over official domestic prices.