Retail gold sales are noticeably down on the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya this year owing to several factors, said a leading jewellers association chief.
Mumbai Jewellers Federation President Rakesh Shetty said the reasons for the poor sentiments were the higher rates of gold compared to 2017 and the global political developments, including the West Asia crises.
"Customers are only making symbolic purchases in gold coins or very small jewellery items to mark the auspicious occasion. Barring that, the outlook is not very bright since morning among the retailers," Shetty said.
In 2017, the gold prices hovered around Rs 28,000 per 10 gms, which has now shot up to Rs 32,000 per 10 gms. This has made customers reluctant to go out shopping for gold.
World Gold Council (India) Managing Director P.R. Somasundaram was more optimistic when he said that "the gold market is more stable now following the remonetisation of the economy".
With the significantly improved compliance following the transition to the GST environment and other aspects, "activity points to the return of positive sentiments", said Somasundaram.
He added that the seasonal wedding demand coupled with online and digital forms of buying gold is becoming increasingly popular and augur well for sustainable growth compared to 2017.
"The government's announcement at the Union Budget that it intends to formulate a comprehensive gold policy to develop gold as an asset class supports the gold industry's efforts to enhance their credibility and amplify gold's economic potential for the country," Somasundaram said.