Today, Tuesday October 21 being a Dhanteras day, gold traders and jewellers are confident to see at least 50 to 60 percent hike in demand for gold and silver marking the precious pre-Diwali occasion as gold prices are at the lowest in three years now.
Dhanteras sees gold rush in India, especially by women, as the popular belief is that buying gold on Dhanteras brings in more gold rest of the year. Whether true or not, goldsmiths and gold shops in India display huge ads on Dhanteras, bring down prices and offering discounts on the day.
Today’s gold price (on Dhanteras) is at Rs 26,300 for 22-karat gold, while it was Rs 29.900 in 2013. In 2012, it was the highest at Rs 30,700. Last time the lowest price on Dhanteras, say in five years was in 2010 when it was at Rs 19,200 and in 2011 it was at Rs 25,900.
“We expect sales to be 20 percent higher this year compared to last year as gold price is ruling at a better level than last year,” Rahul Gupta, chief executive officer, PP Jewellers told IANS.
Last year, there was supply crunch of gold in the market after government hiked its import duty to 15 percent to curb more import as that was causing imbalance in the current account deficit in the country.
“This year the price went below Rs.27,000 per 10 grams mark a fortnight back, but now there is price increment of Rs.1,000-Rs.1,200 per 10 grams,” he added. Gold price was hovering around Rs.27,600 per 10 grams in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“We expect sales to be good this Dhanteras as the price is good. During the last six-eight months silver sales were dim. So we expect sales to go up today (Tuesday),” Jayantilal Challani, president of Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association and a partner in Challani Jewellery Mart, told IANS.
“Normally silver sales will go up by more than 100 percent during Dhanteras as compared to normal day sales. People buy silver articles/bars/coins today (Tuesday). Generally north Indians buy silver on Dhanteras. During Akshaya Tritiya people buy gold and on Dhanteras silver is bought. Today silver price is Rs.41.40 per gram,” Challani added.
Despite a steep fall in prices of gold as compared to last year, from around Rs.32,000 per 10 gms to around Rs.28,000 per 10 gms, this Dhanteras, market sentiment has been hit by overall inflation and higher interest rates, arresting sales, market leaders said in Mumbai.
“Owing to these factors, we expect at least a 35 percent drop in gold sales compared to 2013… although the current retail price in Mumbai is Rs.27,750,” Mumbai Jewellers Federation President Rakesh Shetty told IANS.
However, other retails in Mumbai hope the buying may pick up as the main ‘muhurat’ is scheduled only after 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.
P.R. Somasundaram, managing director, World Gold Council (India), said that gold demand on Dhanteras Tuesday mirrors the general optimism in the economy, reinforcing the traditional faith in gold for the average household save and its increased economic relevance due to various uncertainties on the horizon.
“Policy restrictions have had little impact on gold demand, though sources of supply have increasingly shifted to unauthorized channels… It is time for a long-term approach to gold in India, unlock the potentially transformative value of the household gold to fund the nation’s growth,” Somasundaram said.
Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival also known as “Dhanatrayodashi” or “Dhanvantari Trayodashi” and as the word Dhan indicates wealth and Teras means 13th day as per Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the 13th lunar day of Krishna paksha of the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin.
On Dhanteras, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and the day holds special significance for the business community as they customarily purchases gold on this day and usher in new fiscal day with new account books.
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. In Maharashtra, lightly pound dry coriander seeds (Dhane in Marathi for Dhanatrayodashi) with jaggery is offered as Naivedya.
In south India, cows are offered a special veneration because they are thought of as incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the nation on the occasion of Dhanteras, which is auspicious for traders ahead of Diwali festival.
“Greetings on Dhanteras. May Lord Dhanvantari bless us with prosperity, joy and good health. धनतेरस के पावन अवसर पर सभी देशवासियों को शुभकामनाएं। यह पर्व आपके जीवन में सुख, समृद्धि और अच्छा स्वास्थ्य लेकर आए,” the Prime Minister said.