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The auspicious occasion of Dhanteras saw sales of gold worth Rs 130 crore (500 kg) and silver worth Rs 7-8 crore (2-2.5 tonne) across state, almost 50% down in comparison to same day last year.

In case of gold, around 40% of the sales were of jewellery while rest accounted for gold bars and coins. Bullion traders and jewelers claimed that the sales were even lesser in comparison to Pushya Nakshatra last week and far lower than last year's Dhanteras.

Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat accounted for over 70% of the sales across the state. "Last year, around 1 tonne gold and 3-4 tonne silver was sold in the state. However, this year due to sluggish demand, the sales fell by 40%-50%. Also weak monsoon led to huge downfall in rural demand," said Piyush M Bhansali, president, Shree Choksi Mahajan, Manek Chowk. From waiving-off making charges to offering discounts and gifts, jewelers tried everything to attract customers but failed to elicit sales as in last year." As compared to Pushya Nakshatra the sales were down by 20-30%.

The maximum buying was seen in gold jewelery, sales of which were up by 25%-30% in comparison to regular days," said Bharat Zaveri of Zaveri and Co. The gold was trading at around Rs 25,900 per 10 gram on Monday while silver was trading at Rs 35,200 per kg. "The demand for gold and silver coins registered a fall of 75% in comparison to Dhanteras last year. However, with marriage season ahead the sales of bridal jewellery were brisk," said Manoj Soni of AB Jewels.

Last year on Dhanteras, gold was trading at around Rs 28,000 per 10 gram while silver was little above 40,000 per kg. "We were hoping that with rates going down, sales may pick up on Dhanteras but that wasn't the case," said Girish Choksi, city-based jeweler. The gold imports in the month of October were recorded little above 3 metric tonne (MT), a decrease of around 87% in comparison to last year. The gold imports in the month preceding Diwali this year was the second lowest in last five years.

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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Date:Nov 22, 2015

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