Mumbai: India's gold imports are likely to go up by 20 percent to around 183.6 tonne in April-June quarter due to rise in demand triggered by weak prices, a trade body said.
"There is very good demand and the footfall has increased multi-fold following weakness in gold price. The demand will be supported by the wedding season, which is extended till July unlike last year.... We expect up to 20 percent rise in demand to around 183.6 tonne in the April-June quarter," Bombay Bullion Association president Mohit Kamboj told PTI.
Gold imports stood at 153 tonne during April-June 2012, according to World Gold Council data.
However, Kamboj said the imports this month might be 25 percent lower to around 53.25 tonne than April 2012 as "gold prices are yet to become steady".
"When the prices drop, traders hold back in anticipation of further decline, while they buy when prices rise with the fear of additional increase in rates," he said.
In April 2012, India had imported about 71 tonnes of gold.
But as the prices are strengthening slowly and gold has become costlier by Rs 240 per 10 grams at Rs 25,920 from yesterday's Rs 25,680, imports of the precious metals are likely to pick up again, he said.
"We expect gold prices to stabilise in next few days. After this, there might be a pick up in imports."
India imported about 250 tonnes in the January-March period of this year, amid decline in international prices and rise in demand. The country had imported 207 tonnes of gold in the same period of last year.
India's gold imports had dipped by 12 percent in 2012, to 864.2 tonnes, compared to 986.3 tonnes in 2011, mainly on account of jewellers' strike over certain budgetary measures and sharp rise in domestic price, according to the World Gold Council Demand Trends Report.
First Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 19:48