Sunday, August 21, 2011
Gold imports by India, the world’s biggest consumer, may reach a record this year as investors seek a haven against inflation and volatility in stock markets, a traders’ group said.
Imports may be between 950 metric tons and 1,000 tons this year, Prithviraj Kothari, president of the Bombay Bullion Association, told reporters at a gold conference in Kovalam in south India. Consumption in India rose to a record 963.1 tons last year, driving bullion imports to the highest ever at 958 tons, according to the World Gold Council.
Rising Indian imports may help extend a 30 percent rally in gold prices to a record that’s made the precious metal the second-best performer on the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials this year. Bullion is heading for its 11th annual gain as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis and concern that the U.S. economy may be slowing spur demand for a haven.
“The equity market is volatile and property prices are too high, driving people toward gold as an investment,” Kothari said. “The rains have been good so far, so we can expect good demand for festival season this year.”
Purchases by India, the world’s biggest user, surged 60 percent to 267 tons in the three months ended June 30, from 167 tons a year earlier, the producer-funded council said on Aug. 18. Investment demand jumped 78 percent to 108.5 tons, the second-highest quarter on record, it said.
“Gold is the currency of the world at the moment, with the world convinced that the monetary and fiscal authorities are likely to do nothing right and everything wrong when it comes to resolving the world’s current fiscal problems,” Dennis Gartman, the economist who correctly forecast 2008’s commodities slump, said in his daily Gartman Letter yesterday......read in full