Pre-Diwali Dhanteras buying of gold and silver in India, the world's main gold consumer, kick-started on a positive note on Tuesday on recovery in consumer demand with the easing of pandemic norms.
Softening of gold prices has also evoked buying on Dhanteras, considered the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar for buying items raining from precious metals to utensils, with traders expecting gold sales to touch the pre-pandemic levels.
Traders also said footfalls are expected to pick up after 11.30 am (Muhurat timing) and will continue till Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, gold prices were ruling lower in the range of Rs 46,000-47,000 per 10 grams (excluding taxes) in the national capital from a record over Rs 57,000 in August this year. But gold rates are still ruling higher by 17.5 per cent than Rs 39,240 per 10 grams that prevailed on the 2020 Dhanteras day.
Normally, an estimated 100-150 tonne gold gets sold on a Dhanteras day (during pre-pandemic years).
Here is what industry analysts are saying:
Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO (India) at World Gold Council (WGC)
The pent-up demand, soft prices and good monsoons combined with easing of lockdown across regions, bodes well for a strong surge in demand.
"We expect this quarter to be one of the best in recent years, benchmarked to pre-COVID seasons," he added.
Ashish Pethe, Chairman at All India Gem And Jewellery Domestic Council
In terms of value, we expect sales to be 10-15 per cent higher than last year and volume-wise it is likely to remain at par with the 2019 level.
Better business is expected across the country, especially north, east and western regions, he added.
Balram Garg, Managing Director at PC Jeweller
The demand during this Dhanteras is much better than last year. Footfalls in our showrooms are good so far. Consumers are buying lightweight jewellery.
Bachhraj Bamalwa, cofounder at Nemichand Bamalwa and Sons
The demand has revived this time as shops have opened amid the easing of the pandemic norms.
Last Dhanteras due to the pandemic, sales had shifted to online platforms. But this time, consumers are returning to physical stores to buy.
Gold sales are expected to touch the pre-pandemic year level. Silver sales may not be much due to high prices at Rs 63,000-64,000 per kg, he added.
Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director at PNG Jewellers
The shops have been open since 9.30 am and there is positive momentum. We have witnessed bookings since the last two days for gold as well as silver items, which will be picked up today.
This Dhanteras looks very positive as sales are expected to almost double compared to 2019, he said.
Suvankar Sen, CEO at Senco Gold and Diamonds
Consumers are picking up pre-booked jewellery, especially neckpieces and wedding jewellery. There is also demand from floating consumers for lightweight jewellery.
We expect business to be 10-15 per cent higher from 2019, he added.
(With PTI Inputs)