The country's gold imports are expected to grow further in the coming months on account of peak demand due to festive and wedding seasons, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said on Wednesday.
Gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit, zoomed to about $24 billion during April-September 2021.
The council said that the imports have witnessed a fluctuating trend during the last six months and have come at par with the statistics of the pre-covid years.
Gold imports in May (12.98 tonnes) and June (17.57 tonnes) 2021 were severely hit by the second devastating Covid wave that resulted in nationwide lockdowns and paralysed several industries for a brief period including gem and jewelry, it added.
The imports, it said, picked up in August which recorded the second-highest gold imports of 118.08 tonnes.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said that the increase in imports during July, August, and September 2021 was due to the lifting of lockdowns, revival of the domestic and export demand, and the start of the festive season which has resulted in a sharp rise in demand of the products.
"We expect that imports of gold will further rise in the forthcoming months as peak festive/wedding season will further boost the demand for jewelry both at home and key international markets," Colin added.
India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonnes of gold annually.