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Mumbai: Markets remain dull as gold sale tanks on Ganesh Chaturthi due to high prices

Gold prices are skyrocketing in Mumbai, with figures standing at Rs 38,420 per 10 grams as of August 30. This has spread gloom in the market as the customers are shying away from buying gold even as the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is just round the corner.

Kumar Jain, the Vice President of Shri Mumbai Jewellers Association, says, the trade tensions between the US and China isn't a good signal for the market. The weakening of rupee to dollar and a general slowdown in the economy have had adverse effects. In the last three months gold prices have crossed Rs 40,000 mark. Jain also feels that by the time Diwali hits the city, there could be a further appreciation of Rs 2,000-2,500 with the gold prices crossing the Rs. 42,000 mark.

Even during the Rakshan Bhandhan, there was no response from the customers. People generally have sentimental value attached to gold during the festivals but the Rakhi festival went cold for the jewellers.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a big festival in Mumbai. People consider gold purchase a must for this festival. The gold sales this season have gone down considerably by 70-80 per cent, say Mumbai jewellers. The orders received for gold are very less. Even the various Ganpati pandals haven't ordered substantially this year. The various Ganesh pandals receive money through ads and banners but this time because of slowdown in the economy, they haven’t received much donation.Many pandals in the city haven’t even received a single ad and consequently their decorations have also been scaled down.

India Today TV visited the famous Zaveri bazaar area in Mumbai to find out the ground zero situation. By and large, the area was very dull. The regular enthusiasm was clearly missing.

Vrishank Jain, the CEO of Umedmal Trilokchand Zaveri, said, "Generally, I have many builders who used to come and get gold items like gold cris chuda, gold modak, gold necklace made but this time, those orders have been very less." Vrishank also said, "The common man too is purchasing simple pendants and coins. The common man does not have the budget to manage such high prices. Generally, people know about the rising prices but when they come and check at the jewellery shops, they are shocked." The women folk, who have saved over the years, are putting in their savings to buy some token gold for the festival of Ganpati. The trend is now slowly moving towards silver and people are preferring the other metals over gold. Madhu Dalmia, a resident of labagh said, "Ganesh Chaturthi is a very auspicious festival and it is considered very good to offer some gold to Lord Ganpati. So I think I will go for some gold as a token. My budget will get upset but yes I will buy for the festival."

Anshu, a resident of Dadar said, "I think I will buy some gold plated ornaments that fit my budget but I have to buy something. Even if it is less, it’s fine but there has to be something. It’s been a tradition in the family and I have to do something."

Alka, a resident of Parel area was however clear in her thoughts. She said this year she won’t be able to offer anything but will compensate next year. "This time I will buy silver and that's it," she said.

A youth in the labagh area said, "Ganpati doesn’t ask for any offerings. He blesses everyone equally. I think looking at the gold prices, I will stick to offering only modaks this year."

Devotees might have prioritised what to buy but the market experts say for now, they see no signs of recovery. The fear is that even though Dusherra, Dhanteras and Diwali are round the corner but there isn’t any positive sentiment in the market.

The entire festive season might be wiped out. "If things remain the same then as customers, we will only have the ones that require gold for marriage purposes only. The market is definitely expecting a miracle to happen," concluded Kumar Jain.

Courtesy - India Today



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