Imports gold imports could touch 300 tonnes in the second half of the year, up from 250 tonnes in the first six months (January to June), if local prices remain steady around Rs.30,000 per 10gm, reports said citing Prithviraj Kothari, president of the Bombay Bullion Association.
The country lost out to demand in the first half of the year on the back of a weak rupee and the three-week strike by jewellers protesting the hike in taxes on gold and non-branded gold jewellery. A weak rupee makes gold imports more expensive for India, a leading gold importer.
The annual fall would translate to only 30% after a tax increase, which could hit demand until 2014 said Kothari.
Volumes are likely to stay flat in 2013, he added, as the impact of a doubled import duty continues and there are fewer festival days for traditional gift-giving, he added.
The government doubled its import duty on gold to 4% in March in order to reduce the value of imports and ease its current account deficit, helping to slash first-half imports by 58.7% to 250 tonnes, reports said.
India's 2012 imports will also depend on the monsoon rains, which bring better yields, production and profits to farmers, who often invest in gold due to a lack of banking facilities. About 60 percent of gold demand comes from rural areas, reports added.