SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The World Gold Council (WGC) noted that demand for gold was impacted by pandemic, subsequent lockdown and postponement of wedding functions. However, the demand witnessed a spurt in Q4 2021, mainly driven by wedding purchases and dip in gold prices.
According to P.R. Somasundaram, Regional CEO, WGC, the country continues to be the largest consumer of gold, witnessing total consumption of 446.4 tons in 2020. The gold purchases totalled 360 tons in the first nine months of 2021, whereas the gross gold imports during this period totalled 703 tonnes.
The new Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is unlikely to have significant impact on gold demand in the country. In cities including Mumbai, people have come into terms with living with the virus.
The international bullion exchange is expected to start trading soon. The domestic spot gold exchange should be in operation during the latter half of the current year. The number of demat account holders for digital ETF gold has increased significantly during recent times, although ETs account for only a small proportion of total gold holdings in the country, Somasundaram noted.
The gold demand in the country has not been affected by the rise of cryptocurrency, he added.