. Jewellers throughout the country are expecting only 10-15 percent sales this season as the onset of the COVID-19 second wave, local restrictions and partial lockdowns have affected consumer sentiment.
Akshaya Tritiya, a highly auspicious day to purchase gold, has started on a dull note. Jewellers throughout the country are expecting only 10-15 percent sales this season as the onset of the COVID-19 second wave, local restrictions and partial lockdowns have affected consumer sentiment.
According to Arvind Sahay, chairperson, India Gold Policy Centre at IIM Ahmedabad, consumers are also seen to have taken advantage of the decline in prices in the last four months on the physical market front. That being said, demand for Akshaya Titya is lukewarm because of the overall sentiment related to pandemic and lockdown of non-essential services in many regions, particularly the southern and western states.
Doorstep service by jewellery retailers, Sahay said, is going to be a challenge in the current state.
PNG Jewellers chairman and managing director Saurabh Gadgil said usually, 30-40 tonne gold is sold on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. However, this time sales are not likely to reach even 1 tonne.
"We are urging customers to place orders for later delivery. As last year the base was very low, this year will be better, that is 10-15 percent more than 2020. However, sales are not likely to reach even 1 tonne. Usually on a normal Akshaya Tritiya 25-30 tonne gold is sold across the country," he was quoted as saying in a PTI report.
Kalyan Jewellers executive director Ramesh Kalyanaraman predicted that Akshaya Tritiya 2021 is going to be different from last year as 20 percent of showrooms are functioning but with regionalised timing restrictions.
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Meanwhile, Augmont - an integrated precious metals management company-has seen a spike in gold sales compared to last Akshaya Tritiya.
"Country is going through the worst phase in the second wave. But during a pandemic, another method of saving or buying gold has been gaining immense popularity which is in the form of digital gold. In 2020, Augmont sold around 15 kgs of Digi gold on Akshaya Tritiya and in 2021, the same volume is increased by almost 150 percent as Augmont sold around 30 kgs of gold as of 2.30 pm. Gold coins and gold bars in the range of Rs. 3,000-4,000 is more preferable for buyers this year," said Ketan Kothari, director, Augmont.
During the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 infections, many states have imposed lockdowns or lockdown-like restrictions as a desperate measure to restrict the spread of the virus. Retail stores are closed in several major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, and in gold consuming states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
First Published: IST