Saturday, July 4

Kolkata gold market eyes wedding-season comeback

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There is a sudden spurt in jewellery sales after gold prices crossed the Rs 50,000-mark (for 24 carat) three days ago and dipped a little after that. The increase in buying, jewellers in Kolkata said, is more for the marriage season which will continue till the first week of August. The rise in sales has brought a temporary relief to the industry which is struggling to earn enough to keep the stores open throughout a week.

New Town resident Shaloo Bahal has bought gold a day ago after prices dipped a bit. “Since returns on other asset classes have come down drastically, I thought it is best to invest in gold now as it is going to increase further,” she said.

Price of the 99.99% pure gold in Kolkata touched Rs 50,000 on June 25, leaving the buyers in a fix over the direction of the prices in the coming days. When prices came down by Rs 1,000 to Rs 49,000 for 10 gms the next day, jewellers in the city witnessed a sudden surge in the demand of jewellery.“Most of the orders we received in the past two-three days are from people who are buying for marriage ceremonies. Since jewellers re-opened stores post lockdown, there has not been so much bulk order,” said Rupak Saha, zonal member of Gem and Jewellery Trade Council of India.

Those preparing for their weddings started placing orders with jewellers. “I have ordered some jewellery for my wedding as the price has dipped a bit. It may go up any day and my parents did not want to take any chance”, said Anurup Bagchi, an executive with a multinational pharmaceutical company.

Ever since the shops re-opened, footfall at stores has been increasing slowly but that had not translated into sales for the jewellers. “For some, sales are down by even 90% at present and we haven’t been expecting it to pick up before the Pujas. Many stores had to rework their expenses to keep the shops open as sales were abysmally low,” said Bachhraj Bamalwa of Nemichand Bamalwa & Sons. “But I am optimistic about a pick-up from Dhanteras this year unless, of course, we don’t see a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases,” he added.

Anargha Uttiya Chowdhury of Anjali Jewellers, however, felt that market is slow due to the extension of the lockdown. “But, the consumer footfall has increased compared to the response we had received immediately after reopening the stores,” Chowdhury said.

Source:Times of India

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