Big Drop in Indian Gold Imports in 2008


"Gold imports by India, the world's largest buyer of the metal, fell 47% in 2008."

The Bombay Bullion Association (BBA) said imports in December slumped 81% to 3 tonnes from 16 tonnes in the same month a year before, with deadly attacks in the financial hub of Mumbai also affecting demand.

"Imports were down because prices rose," said Suresh Hundia, president of the BBA, "There were not many marriages or festivals either."

Gold prices on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) soared to a record 14,320 rupees ($293.4) per 10 grams on Oct. 10, up 35.1% from the close in 2007, before falling to 11,290 by Oct. 24. Prices again began to rise in November and climbed more than 4% in December to 13,690 rupees, ending the year up 29.2%, as the dollar weakened against the euro and crude oil rose, enhancing gold's appeal as a hedge against inflation.

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