High gold prices unable to dampen consumer sentiment during Akshaya Tritiya

MUMBAI, May 10 : The demand for gold and golden jewellery remained high on Akshaya Tritiya, despite 15-17 per cent increase in gold prices from last year, with retailers witnessing robust footfall throughout the day.

“We are getting reports of good footfalls from across the country, especially the southern region, as Akshaya Tritiya is an important festival in the south for buying gold,” All India Gem And Jewellery Domestic Council chairman Saiyam Mehra told PTI.

“However, we are expecting a similar or a marginal fall of 5-7 per cent business in volume terms since the gold prices went up by Rs 800 per 10 grams from Thursday,” Mehra said.

On Friday, gold prices were ruling at over Rs 71,000 per 10 grams as against about Rs 60,000 in April last year, registering an increase of 15-17 per cent.

Further, Mehra said, there is a demand for heavy weight items in the south like wedding jewellery and for light weight items in the north and the rest of the region.

“Even as there are no wedding dates in May and June, and the season will begin in late July this year, the demand for heavy items is high in the south. We are expecting the demand for light weight to be in the north, west and the east. This year we are seeing new buyers who are buying gold before the price rises further,” Mehra noted.

World Gold Council Regional CEO Sachin Jain said there was little growth in jewellery demand during the January-March period while April was also a very quiet month.

“However, since then the prices have settled down and we are getting reports of very strong customer confidence. The pre-bookings for big ticket items were very strong despite the high gold prices.

“In fact, very light ticket items have not done that well. However, Akshaya Tritiya is spread over till the afternoon of Saturday, we expect the demand for light tickets will also pick up,” he added.

PNG Jewellers Chairman and Managing Director Saurabh Gadgil, too, said there has been no impact in demand on the back of high gold prices.

Echoing a similar view, Kalyan Jewellers India Executive Director Ramesh Kalyanaraman said, “We are witnessing encouraging momentum in consumer demand, especially around the wedding purchases during the current quarter and Akshaya Tritiya.” (PTI)