As Import Tightens, Gold Dore Refining Picks Up
Traders say though demand has picked up before wedding season, it is still about 20% less compared with last year
Kolkata: Gold refining activity has picked up in the country, as the government has tightened rules for nominated agencies to import the yellow metal. Local refiner MMTC PAMP, which had been diverting gold dore (impure gold) to PAMP’s refining facility in Switzerland, has restarted operation at its Indian facility. “We have stopped diverting gold dore,” MMTC PAMP MD Rajesh Khosla told ET. “The market has improved following government’s steps to curb cheap import of gold by some nominated agencies.” Demand for gold has picked up as the wedding season has star- Gold ted, Khosla said. “Refining had come to a halt when 3% GST on gold was introduced as cheap gold started entering the country from Korea under a free trade agreement,” he said. Now, it is gradually returning to normal levels, he added. Despite the pickup in gold dore refining now, import of this alloy is expected to fall 15% this fiscal year from last year’s 200 tonnes. “There was a slowdown in July, August and September which is going to affect imports of gold dore in the current fiscal,” Khosla said. “The situation is better than what was it during Diwali. Market is taking time to recover. Market sentiment is not very bullish now,” said Nitin
Khandelwal, chairman of the All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation. James Jose, secretary of the Association of Gold Refineries & Mints, said though refining has picked up, there is a need to reduce import duty on gold dore to provide a reasonable operating margin of 1% for refineries, compared with 0.65% currently.