The Dhanteras purchase of gold and silver gathered pace from the second half on November 10, with traders and retailers expecting sales volumes to increase by up to 20 per cent over last year due to the softening prices from the recent peak.
Increased footfall at stores, brisk sales online and relatively softer gold prices compared to the peak of Rs 63,000 per 10 grams level ten days back spurred increased buying, especially lightweight offerings. Gold prices have fallen by Rs 800-1,500 per 10 grams (24 carats) from the peak Rs 63,000 level on October 28. The gold prices were ruling at Rs 61,200 per 10 grams in the national capital on November 10. The rates were Rs 50,139 per ten grams, excluding taxes, on Dhanteras last year.
Normally, about 20-30 tonnes of gold are sold on Dhanteras, the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar for buying items ranging from precious metals to utensils. "Gold prices are in favour of business. We are receiving a very good response. We expect total sales to be over 30 tonnes on Dhanteras day across the country. It will be much higher than roughly 22 tonnes estimated sales in the year-ago period," All India Gem And Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) Director Dinesh Jain told PTI.
About 60 per cent of gold sales on Dhanteras are expected from south and west India, while the rest from the eastern and northern regions. The gold sales this Dhanteras will be much higher than last year as more jewellers have become organised retailers. Organised jewellery retailing has risen by 10 per cent to 45 per cent in the last one year, Jain said, adding that this helps in getting authentic data on sales.
The GJC official also said the footfalls picked up only from the second half of the day, given the auspicious time for buying gold and silver. In metro cities, consumers came out to buy after office hours. There was a huge demand for gold jewellery for day-to-day wear like chains and bangles. The demand from the young generation was for party-wear lightweight jewellery items like bracelets, earrings, small chains with pendants and even solitaire, he added.
All India Jewellers and Goldsmiths Federation National President Pankaj Arora said, "On Dhanteras, about 41 tonnes of gold and about 400 tonnes of silver jewellery and coins were sold in the country". In value terms, the total turnover of gold, silver and other items was Rs 30,000 crore across the country, he noted.
On bullion sales, MMTC-PAMP Chief Digital Officer Amul Kumar Saha said, "This Dhanteras, we've experienced incredible demand, especially for our 24-carat 999.9+ purest 10gm gold coins, which have garnered remarkable attention". The 100-gram silver coins with symbols of God 'Lakshmi Ji' and 'Ganesh Ji' have also seen a significant uptick. Notably, the 'devotional series' has witnessed an upward trend, signifying families' embrace of age-old customs of buying gold, not only as an investment but also as a cherished tradition, Saha said.
"We anticipate this demand to soar further as we approach Diwali. Enthusiasm has been exceptional this festive season," he added. Jewellery retailer Joyalukkas, which has 100 stores in India, is expecting a 25 per cent increase in gold jewellery sales this time.
"We are expecting about 650 kg of sale of gold jewellery this Dhanteras across our stores. If prices soften then the sales might be even more," Joyalukkas Chairman and Managing Director Joy Alukkas said. The company, which is preparing for an IPO, had sold about 500 kg of gold during the last Dhanteras, he added
Upbeat about sales, Kalyan Jewellers Executive Director Ramesh Kalyanaraman said the company is witnessing an uptick across geographies in footfalls and revenue. "Unexpected rainfall in certain markets has muted demand, but we are expecting more walk-ins during the evening hours and hopeful that the trend will continue well into the weekend, especially considering the extended Muhurat timing," he said.
This year, the gold-buying muhurat spans over two days, starting from 2 pm today to 5 pm tomorrow, he added. Bachharaj Bamalwa, partner of Kolkata-based jewellery chain Nemichand Bamalwa & Sons, said, "Response has been very good so far. As expected, gold sales in value terms are up 20-30 per cent and volume-wise up 10-15 per cent till now, when compared to the last Dhanteras day. Buying is continuing, and most consumers are picking jewellery for personal use".
Senco Gold & Diamonds Managing Director and CEO Suvankar Sen said, "We have seen a growth of 10-12 per cent overall in terms of value. Due to the higher gold price and the movement of the gold in the last 7-10 days, the volume growth has been in low single digit, wherein the value growth has been in low double digits".