The love for gold amongst Indians showed a sudden spurt in December, as imports of the yellow metal doubled after recording a decline earlier.
Latest trade data released by the commerce ministry showed that India imported gold worth $3.8 billion last month as global prices declined, up from $1.36 billion in December 2014.
The figure for December 2015 is the highest in the last three months. In August last year, it was USD 4.95 billion.
Higher gold imports immediately impact India’s current account deficit, a cause of worry to the government which is seeking to reduce imports by trying to encourage individuals and temples to convert their vast hordes into bonds through a newly launched scheme. The response has been generally lukewarm.
The jump in imports widened the trade deficit to a four-month high of $11.66 billion in December, data showed
India is the largest importer of gold in the world, importing close to 900 tonnes a year. In the last 2014-15 (April-March) fiscal year India’s gold imports stood at $34.3 billion. In the first nine months of the current financial year India has imported god worth $26.45 billion, according the data.