PM Imports Soar in India


"India's gold and silver imports rose a whopping 222% between April and May."

Mineweb, Shivom Seth

The import of gold and silver by India has risen by a whopping 222% between April and May 2011, as compared to a year ago. In the month of May alone, imports were a staggering $9 billion, with gold demand growing 25%.

"Even as inflation and a widening trade deficit to $15 billion in May continues to weigh on the minds of Indian investors, the demand for fresh gold has continued to grow. This is very confusing, especially when one sees it against the backdrop of a 400% rise in the value of the rupee over the last decade,'' said bullion analyst Anand Patnaik with a brokerage firm.

India's commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma recently released trade figures. India's imports have surged to a 4-year high at a scorching pace of 54% mainly due to rising oil prices and a surge in gold imports.

The country's imports have jumped to $40.9 billion, which has resulted in the gap between imports and exports widening to $15 billiona 67% increase which is the largest since August 2008, prompting the government authorities to caution that India's trade deficit for 201112 could touch a record $145150 billion.

Minister Sharma pointed out that exports of iron ore were down given the ban on exports imposed by the country. Imports in pearls and precious stones, however, have risen 24.6% to $ 5.20 billion, gold and silver by 222% to $ 13.5 billion and iron and steel by 13% to $ 1.80 billion, he said.

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