New Delhi/Chennai/Mumbai, Nov 1 IANS | 12 months ago

Come Dhanteras and Indians are ready to shell out that extra bit to purchase gold on the auspicious day. But jewellers expect sales to be considerably low this time around as most people have made the bulk of their purchases earlier in the year when prices were much lower.


"Demand will fall by 10-20 percent in Delhi this year during Dhanteras as many people have bought gold during April-May when the price fell considerably to around Rs.25,000 per 10 grams," Rahul Gupta, chief executive officer of PP Jewellers told IANS. (Gold currently retails at around Rs.32,000 per 10 grams in Delhi.)

He also mentioned that there is supply crunch in the market after the government hiked the duty on gold to 15 percent to curb its import as it was causing an imbalance in the current account deficit.

However, jewellers in Chennai are expecting to do somewhat brisk business in gold, silver and diamonds during Dhanteras, though sales are expected to be down between 20-40 percent as compared to last year.

According to jewellers, sales during the Diwali season have not been great and Dhanteras is expected to provide some relief.

"We expect to do good business today as it is considered auspicious to buy gold and precious items on Dhanteras. But the sales volume is expected to be down as compared to the previous year," Jayantilal Challani, president of Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association and a partner in Challani Jewellery Mart, told IANS.

Echoing him N. Anantha Padmanabhan of NAC Jewellers told IANS: "Sales are expected to be good today. But they will be down by 30-40 percent as compared to last year."

However, Gora Roy Chowdhury, director of Kolkata's MP Jewellers, felt customers are confused about the gold industry and this is definitely going to impact sales by 30-35 percent this Dhanteras.

"The price volatility is definitely impacting the people, coupled with various freebies offered by many jewellers along with gold. People are confused and they often don't understand which product to fall for - gold or freebies," Roy Chowdhury told IANS.

In Mumbai, public sentiment was buoyant on Dhanteras.

With a slight fall in the prices of the precious yellow metal in the international markets Thursday, the mood suddenly turned positive with customers making a beeline to retailers for buying gold, former Chairman of All India Gems and Jewellery Federation Bachhraj Bamalwa said.

He expressed hope that by the end of the day, the situation would improve as more and more people rush to take advantage of the low prices and make the best of the festive season.

(Posted on 01-11-2013)