Dhanteras: High prices may take sheen off gold sales
Although the buying sentiment has improved after the Covid-19 curbs were relaxed, consumers are still wary of investing in precious metal
New Delhi/Mumbai: Pre-Diwali Dhanteras sales of gold and silver kicked off on Thursday but overall business is likely to be a muted affair in view of sharp rise in prices and subdued demand due to the Covid-19 induced economic hardship, according to jewellers and industry experts.
Although the buying sentiment has improved after the Covid-19 curbs were relaxed, consumers are still wary of investing in precious metal at current high rates, they said. Jewellers also said they are recycling old jewellery stock to meet the festive and wedding season demand. Besides, a caution still prevails among people while coming out of their homes for shopping amid rising Covid-19 cases in key consuming markets across the country, and consumers in view of the pandemic have made advanced booking through online jewellery platforms, they added.
Dhanteras, considered the most auspicious day in Hindu calendar for buying items, ranging from precious metals like gold and silver to utensils, is being celebrated for two days on Thursday and Friday this year. Gold prices are ruling in the range of Rs 51,000-53,000 per 10 grams, more than 35 per cent higher than Rs 38,096 per 10 gram prevailed on Dhanteras 2019. Similarly, silver prices have shot up to over Rs 62,000 per kg.
World Gold Council (WGC) Managing Director (India) Somasundaram PR said, "The foot falls are better and people are interested. Sales are recovering but it will not be as good as last year during the same period.
The organised players will have better market share, bars and coins will do better." Digital gold and other online platforms could find this period very conducive for increasing volumes and for broadening the consumer base, he said. Echoing similar views, All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman AnanthaPadmanaban said the market is recovering gradually and the consumer sentiment is positive. Jewellers are seeing increased growth in footfalls since morning but need to see whether the pent-up demand will translate into sales, he said, adding that the buying momentum is expected to pick up by evening across the country.