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Gold April 16, 2015 07:15:47 AM

RBI turns cautious as gold imports take big leap in March

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is reported to be 'deeply concerned' over the sudden jump in gold imports into the country during the month of March this year
RBI turns cautious as gold imports take big leap in March

NEW DELHI (Scrap Monster): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is reported to be ‘deeply concerned’ over the sudden jump in gold imports into the country during the month of March this year. The country’s Central Bank stated that it is keeping a close eye on rising gold imports into the country.

Although, official government figures are yet to be released, sources indicate that the March ’15 gold imports are expected to exceed 125 tonnes, equivalent to almost 15% of annual gold demand in the country. This is more than double the imports of 55 tonnes in February this year and 60 tonnes during March last year. Unofficial figures also suggest that gold imports by the country during the fiscal ended March 31st have surged higher by 36% year-on-year to nearly 900 tonnes.

According to sources, the Central Bank has sought clarification from banks and trading houses for the jump in gold imports. Further, RBI is expected to announce stringent measures to cut down gold imports, if the trend continues.

RBI stated that the country already has huge stockpiles of gold in vaults, thanks to huge imports towards end-2014. The gold demand has remained subdued all through this year. With the advent of Akshaya Tritiya ‘gold buying’ festival on April 21st, the demand is expected to pick up. The sudden rise in gold imports is mainly attributed to the anticipated demand rise during the festive season, unofficial sources confirmed.

The Indian gold market is saturated with supply. The demand is expected to remain low during June and July with no festivities around. Moreover, wedding season is nearly over. In addition, the gold monetization schemes proposed by the government is likely to bring huge quantities of gold into the system, which in turn may lead to reduced gold imports during the months ahead.

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