The biggest story in gold the past year has been India. With the world’s former largest gold importer seeing a 21 percent fall in shipments during 2016, to just 676 tonnes.
But news this week suggests India’s gold demand is coming back to life — for the first time in nearly a year.
Preliminary statistics on India’s February gold imports showed a major lift. With gold experts GFMS estimating that the country brought in 50 tonnes of bullion during the month — up 82% from the 27.4 tonnes Indian buyers imported during February 2016.
That’s a rare uptick for India’s imports. Which have generally been registering lows over the past several months.
The return of India to the gold market makes sense. Given that many of the factors weighing on demand in 2016 were temporary — including a jewellers strike early in the year, and a cash crunch triggered by demonetization of small bank notes in November.