Scrap jewellery sales declined by 50-60% in the last one month as consumers held the stock on expectations of higher realisation in the upcoming festive season when physical demand sets in.
Normally, farmers sell their extra holding of gold jewellery with the onset of the monsoon rainfalls to buy seeds and fertilisers. Consequently, scrap jewellery sales increase in June and July. Jewellery sales continue in September as well, in case forecast of monsoon rainfalls is deficient.Scrap jewellery sales also move up in case gold price continues its bullish trend.
This year, however, none of the aforementioned factors favoured scrap jewellery sales. While the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast for a surplus rainfalls this monsoon season, gold price fluctuated in a wide range with upward bias.
“Need based selling of scrap jewellery is over. Common consumers do not trade in jewellery and hence, they purchase with surplus fund and sell in case of its need. Therefore, scrap jewellery sales have come down sharply more than half in the last two-three weeks,” said Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director, RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd, a city –based bullion dealer and retailer.
Data compiled by the World Gold Council (WGC) showed gold collection through recycling ofscrap jewellery at 23.60 tonnes in June quarter, the highest in four quarters. The same, however, is expected to remain lower in September quarter. Recycling of old jewellery meets nearly 10% of India’s annual gold demand between 850-950 tonnes.
The sale of used jewellery is also expected to remain lower on surplus rainfalls this monsoon season. While the IMD has reported nearly 5% deficient rainfalls this season largely due to paucity of showers after last week of August, experts hope for better kharif output this year than last year.
“Scrap jewellery sales have slumped drastically in the last few weeks as saleable quantity exhausted with consumers. They do not have unlimited quantity of jewellery for sale. So, whatever consumers needed to sell either for price benefit or need-based encashment, consumers’ selling quantity is over. Now, buying time has started. So, in the ensuing festival season will see a huge upsurge in gold sales,” said Rajesh Mehta, Managing Director, Rajesh Exports who operates over 70 retail stores across the country.
The festive season started with the Raksha Bandhan and the Ganapati festival is now almost over. After a fortnight the festivities would resume with Durga Pooja and the Diwali.
“Overall, consumer demand of gold jewellery is likely to remain better in festive season this year,” said Mehul Choksi, Managing Director, Gitanjali Gems, the promoter of leading jewellery brands like Nakshatra, Asmi, Gili etc.
In fact, jewellers have started preparations with innovative designs of ornaments for the current festival season as reflected in rising gold import last month.
Kothari, however, believes that gold price movement would determine jewellery demand. Gold price was hovering around Rs 30,000 per 10 grams in June, has now risen to trade at Rs 31,100 per 10 grams with discount prevailing at $20 an oz equivalent to Rs 400 per 10 grams.
|Gold recovery through scrap jewellery|
|Quarter ended||Quantity (tonnes)|
|Source : GFMS, Thomson Reuters, World Gold Council|