Dhanteras this year brings lure for the lucre back to pre-COVID levels

Polishing a diminishing sheen, sales of gold jewellery and coins are set to touch pre-COVID levels in volume terms on the auspicious Dhanteras festival,, Easing pandemic concerns and pent up demand saw consumers flocking to stores to buy the precious metal.

Increased footfall at stores and brisk sales online as well as relatively softer gold prices compared to record Rs 57,000 per 10 grams level in August spurred increased buying, especially light weight offerings, on Tuesday, the day of Dhanteras, considered to be auspicious for buying precious metals and other valuable items.

On Tuesday, gold prices were ruling lower in the range of Rs 47,644 per 10 grams, excluding taxes, in the national capital, compared to a record level of over Rs 57,000 in August. However, the rates are much higher compared to Rs 39,240 per 10 grams on Dhanteras day in 2020.

“We expect volumes to be at par (compared to pre-COVID levels) as the rates have gone up from 2019. In value terms, we expect 20 per cent growth from 2019 level,” All India Gems And Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman Ashish Pethe told PTI.

Jewellers saw consumers returning to offline shopping as footfalls increased by 40 per cent when compared to the year-ago period. Normally, 20-30 tonnes of gold are sold on a Dhanteras day and this year, the volumes are expected to be slightly higher, according to industry players.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the jewellery industry has emerged from a slump that was caused due to the pandemic. “Sales across the country happened to the tune of almost Rs 75,000 crore… Around 15 tonnes of gold jewellery were sold across the country on Dhanteras today,” it said.

This includes an estimated sales worth Rs 1,000 crore in Delhi, around Rs 1,500 crore in Maharashtra, about Rs 600 crore in UP. In South India, the sales are projected to be around Rs 2,000 crore, the grouping said. World Gold Council (WGC) Regional CEO (India) Somasundaram P R said that pent up demand, soft prices and good monsoons combined with easing of lockdown across regions, bode well for a strong surge in demand. “We expect this quarter to be one of the best in recent years, benchmarked to pre-COVID seasons,” he said.

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