Asia Gold Indian dealers charge a premium, but virus curbs dim outlook

  • Demand dips in China, Japan
  • India spent a record $55.7 billion on gold imports in 2021
  • Singapore sentiment improves, outlook positive – dealer

Jan 7 (Reuters) – An uptick in retail appetite for physical gold prompted dealers in India to charge premiums this week, although new coronavirus restrictions slowed activity, while upcoming Lunar New Year festivities brightened the outlook for sales in Singapore.

Dealers in India, the world’s second biggest gold consumer after China, charged a premium of up to $1 an ounce over official domestic prices — inclusive of 10.75% import and 3% sales levies — versus last week’s $5 discounts, which were the largest in five months.

“There is a modest improvement in demand, but it is still lower than normal,” said Mukesh Kothari, director at Mumbai bullion dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions.

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Local curbs on weddings due to rising cases of coronavirus could reduce gold demand in the short term, said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer. read more

In 2021 India spent a record $55.7 billion on gold imports, buying more than double the previous year’s tonnage as a price drop favoured retail buyers amid pent-up wedding demand. read more

Singapore dealers were charging about $1.50-$1.80 per ounce over global benchmark spot gold prices , which hit their highest in more than a month at $1,831.62 an ounce earlier this week before slipping to a two-week low on Thursday.

Singapore continues to see some festive buying heading into the Chinese Lunar New Year, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.

Sentiment has improved, making the outlook for physical demand this year more positive, Lan added.

In China, premiums were cut to about $3.5-$5, while those in Hong Kong were nearly unchanged around $0.50-$2.00.

Higher prices during the week reduced interest for purchases, said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.

Demand dipped in Japan as well, leading to discounts of $1 being charged.

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Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Asha Sistla and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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