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WGC releases ‘India Gold Market – Reform and growth’

The World Gold Council (WGC) has published a new report titled ‘India Gold Market – Reform and growth’. The report explores the key factors that shape India’s gold demand and supply, as well as the challenges and opportunities for the future. The report updates the previous WGC report from 2017, ‘India’s Gold Market – evolution and innovation’, which highlighted the potential of India’s gold market, the second largest in the world after China.

The new report covers various aspects of India’s gold market, such as: The drivers of Indian gold demand, jewellery demand and trade, jewellery market structure, gold investment market and financialisation, bullion trade, gold refining and recycling, and gold mining in India.

In the report foreword, Juan Carlos Artigas, Global Head of Research, World Gold Council, said: “In 2017 we produced “India’s Gold Market – evolution and innovation’. A lot has changed since that report was published. This compendium of updated reports delves deeper into key factors that underpin India’s position as the second largest gold consumer in the world: it studies the drivers of gold demand and the perception of consumers; it examines the new investment landscape: and it considers the complex issue of gold supply.

“Few of the global events that have rocked societal and geopolitical stability could have been imagined when our 2017 report was published. That India has had to adapt is not surprising, but the rate at which change is happening in the country is, arguably, unprecedented.

“The IMF forecasts that per capita GDP growth will increase 23% between 2022 and 2026. On the face of it, rising living standards benefit gold, but there are other factors in play: the country’s savings rate is declining, and the government’s ‘bank the unbanked’ initiative is creating a sea change in investment choice and availability. Gold must respond if it is to successfully steer a course through these headwinds.

“Despite – or perhaps because of – macroeconomic uncertainties, India’s population resolutely turns to gold. Weddings and festivals are key drivers of gold demand and the country is one of the world’s largest bar and coin markets. There is no doubt that gold retains prominence in the social and financial life of many Indians, both urban and rural.

“The years ahead will present challenges. But rather than thinking them onerous, we believe there is tremendous opportunity for gold. Regulation of India’s jewellery industry has already made huge strides in building consumer trusts. If new export markets can be developed, the current fragile platform – 90% of jewellery exports go to just five countries – will be diluted. More accessible banking offers a possibility to reach investors who have long understood gold’s safe-haven qualities but now find themselves negotiating a plethora of choice. And in the longer term, the Gold Monetisation Scheme, proposed legislative changes in the mining industry, and resolution of recycling traceability issues may reduce India’s reliance on imported gold.

“As we look ahead with optimism, the insights in this report will help us ensure that gold retains or even increases its relevance to India’s economy – generating further employment and continuing to play its roles as an adornment and an effective portfolio diversifier and hedge against inflation

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