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Gold Sales in India’s Festival Quarter Seen Weakest Since 2008

  • Rural demand rebound unlikely to make up for lower urban sales
  • A drop in local prices will provide some relief to jewelers
Gold Loses Luster in India as Biggest Buying Day Disappoints
Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Jewelers in India may be staring at their worst sales in the key festival quarter in 12 years, as the coronavirus pandemic slams the ability of buyers, especially in cities, to purchase gold.

Demand typically jumps in the last three months of the year, when the biggest Hindu festivals combine with the peak wedding season to boost sales. This year, the outbreak and weak economic growth are likely to push sales below last year’s 194 tons to the lowest quarterly numbers since 2008, according to Chirag Sheth, a consultant at London-based Metals Focus Ltd., which provides data to the World Gold Council.