MUMBAI, March 31 India imported no gold for the
second month in a row in March as high prices dented consumer
demand in the world's biggest market for the metal, the head of
a trade body said on Tuesday.
"Our records are showing zero so far," Suresh Hundia,
president of the Bombay Bullion Association (BBA) told Reuters.
"Scrap sales have reduced, but demand is not there either."
Imports in February and March last year were 23 tonnes and
21 tonnes respectively.
As local prices of gold climbed to a record high of 16,040
rupees ($315) per 10 grams MAUc1 on Feb. 20, people sold old
ornaments raising supply of scrap and keeping imports at bay.
Prices have since eased, but at 15,138 rupees on Tuesday is
still seen as too expensive with an economic slowdown further
dampening sentiment, Hundia said.
Exports of gold coins slowed down in March as the gap
between foreign and local prices narrowed from February, he
India has been the world's biggest buyer of gold for years,
but imports slumped 48 percent in 2008 to 396 tonnes.
The falling trend has continued this year with imports in
January plunging 89 percent from the same month last year to
For a graphic showing India's monthly gold imports, double
(Reporting by Ruchira Singh; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)