Photo: Mamta Badkar
Diwali, India’s festival of lights which also ushers in the Hindu new year, is prime season for gold sales. And gold retailers look to make their biggest profits mid-October and in the wedding season that follows. India continues to be the world’s largest gold consumer but high prices have kept customers away. Tighter budgets and inflation which devalued the rupee have also hurt gold sales. And with gold prices rocketing up, jewellers in Zaveri Bazaar, Mumbai’s gold market, have complained of weak sales.
Ramesh Zaveri manager of Narandas & Sons said, “Gold sales have been slow. Everyone is buying gold because of the season, but volume of sales is low.” He explained that higher gold prices meant revenue was holding up but customers were getting less for their money.
Further down the road, Deepak Tulsiani owner of Dwarkadas Chandumal Jewellers said that gold sales in the two months leading up to Diwali had been weak and business was better last year. Year-to-date gold sales for his store were 30% – 40% lower than a year ago. Sales of gold coins however were up.
With the wedding season on its way gold prices are expected to pick up and Tulsiani expected gold to hit $2,500 in 2012.