Despite the festive season, gold import declined by a huge 90% in August 2009, as the high prices deterred people from buying the precious metal, especially after drought triggered fears of a dent in rural income. The import of gold this festival season (September-December) is expected to be much lower than last year’s level of 146 tonnes, if prices remain firm at around Rs15,000 per 10gm. The country’s gold import between January-August 2009 is estimated to have come down to about 69.4 tonnes from 261 tonnes in the year-ago period. In January 2009, imports had fallen to just 1.8 tonnes, followed by nil imports in February and March.
Silver coin prices hit an all-time high of Rs30,600 for 100 coins on increased demand due to the festival season. Prices shot up by Rs200 to Rs30,500 for buying and Rs30,600 for selling 100 pieces. Silver prices surged by Rs450 to Rs24,300/kg on brisk buying by coin-makers and stockists to meet the demand for the coming festivals and marriage season.
India’s edible oil import is expected to dip 25% in the next season, as imports this season would more than offset any domestic deficit caused by drought. India’s edible oil import has already gone up by about 66% to nearly 6.1 million tonnes so far this season.