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Consumer Demand Momentum for Gold Jewelry Continued in Q1

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Consumer demand for gold in India saw robust growth in the first quarter of the calendar year 2021.

According to a report by Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities, total consumer demand for gold in India, which includes jewelry, bars, and coins, witnessed a 37.4 percent year-on-year growth in 1QCY21 to 140 ton. On a QoQ basis, demand was down 24.8 percent.

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Demand for jewelry remained robust in India, with volumes up 38.3% YoY to 102.5 tons in 1QCY21. Demand was boosted by the easing of lockdown restrictions, lower gold prices, magnified by the lowering of customs duty, and wedding demand.

Demand for gold bars and coins continued to witness a surge during 1QCY21. With the bottoming out of gold prices, consumers advanced purchases in the form of gold bars and coins. Demand for bars and coins rose 33.8 percent YoY to 37.5t in 1QCY21.

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Net bullion imports, which constitute 85-90 percent of India’s gold supplies, saw a sharp (262 percent) surge in 1QCY21. Although growth is on a soft base of 1QCY20, it is at the highest level since 2QCY13. This indicates the extent of pent-up demand.

This sharp growth was due to robust consumer demand and stocking up ahead of upcoming festivals including Akshaya Tritiya in May 2021.

As per the report, there was a sharp YoY increase in jewelry demand in India in 1QCY20, as well as the rest of the world, especially China, due to an improving economic scenario, fall in gold prices, and festivities.

There was a major drop in demand for gold as an investment, especially via ETFs, as a fall in gold prices and higher interest rates led to investors switching to other asset classes.

There was a sharp increase in net bullion imports in India due to robust consumer demand and stocking ahead of festivals, the report said.

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