Gold demand in India fell 3% to 777 tonnes in 2022, amid high prices of the metal and global economic uncertainty. According to figures released on Tuesday by the World Gold Council (WGC), while jewellery demand was down by nearly 2% to 600.4 tonnes from 610.9 tonnes in 2021, demand for gold as investment fell about 7% to 173.6 tonnes in 2022 from 186.5 tonnes the year before.
According to the WGC, India imported 673.3 tonnes of gold in 2022 compared with 924.6 tonnes in 2021, a fall of 27%. High import duty on gold may have discouraged import of gold through the official route.
The WGC believes 2023 would be a good year for gold demand, resetting it to the long-term annual average of 800-850 tonnes subject to certain factors, particularly monsoons and a near-term recovery in rural demand. Total gold recycled in India in 2022 was 97.6 tonnes as compared to 75.2 tonnes in 2021, an increase of 30%.
In the October-December quarter, India noted a sharp increase in recycling, which rose nearly 40% from a year earlier and 6% sequentially. This surge was mainly due to the increase in rupee-denominated gold prices, which was up 3% quarter-on-quarter. The Reserve Bank of India continued its gold purchases, adding 33.5 tonnes in 2022, less than half the 77.5 tonnes it purchased the year before.
Demand for gold in India in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 276.1 tonnes, down 20% from a year earlier. Jewellery demand in the quarter fell 17% to 219.7 tonnes, while investment demand dropped a faster 29% to 56.4 tonnes.