Trade body says 2014 gold imports to India seen at 500- 550 tonnes

Trade body says 2014 gold imports to India seen at 500-550 tonnes On Friday, a top trade body official said, Indian gold imports may fall 70 percent in the final quarter of 2013 from 255 tonnes in the year-ago period and are likely to be half usual levels at 500-550 tonnes next year if new import rules are maintained.

India imposed an import duty of 10 percent on gold to curb a record trade deficit, and tied imports for domestic consumption with exports, generating limited supply of the yellow metal, and boosting premiums to a record. As a consequence, Indians heavily fell back on old heirlooms and smuggled yellow metal to fulfil wedding demand.

Bachhraj Bamalwa, director at the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) said in an interview, "Year 2014 seems to be a difficult one for the Indian gem and jewellery industry so far as gold imports are concerned."

"Demand (for) jewellery has not yet picked up, so the industry is not yet in panic, but I am not (very) sure about the future - say, after 30 days," he added.

He also said, the government was "in no mood" to relax its new import duty rules, or its gold export requirements, until the current account deficit had been reined in.