In accordance with the latest official trade data, the gold bullion imports by India's Northern state of Gujarat touched highest levels in seventeen months during the month of October 2014, primarily on account of recent relaxations in gold import norms and the sharp decline in international gold prices.
As per trade figures released yesterday, the total gold imports during the month of October totaled 24.07 metric tons (MT). This is the third time since June 2013, when gold import restrictions were imposed, that the monthly gold imports have crossed double digits. The gold imports surged nearly 16% upon comparison with the total gold imports of 20.8 MT during the previous month. The imports during October last year had totaled just 0.127 MT.
Earlier in May, the government had announced relaxation on gold import curbs, by allowing star and premier export houses to import the yellow metal while banks and nominated agencies were allowed to provide gold for domestic use as loans to jewelers and bullion traders. Jwelers and traders stockpiled huge quantities of gold, in anticipation of higher demand during festive season, which led to high imports during September.
According to market participants, there were fears that the government may resort to stricter gold import norms following mounting gold imports during September. This led to even higher gold imports during the month of October. The gold prices having fallen to the lowest in four years also served as another catalyst for increased gold imports.