Most traders said that sales had jumped up to 50 percent compared to normal times. According to the Federation of Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (Fenegosida), demand has soared to an average of 40 kg daily in recent times against 20 kg on other days.
Likewise, gold imports surged in the first one and a half months of the current fiscal year. According to the Nepal Bankers’ Association (NBA), shipments amounted to 850 kg during the review period compared to 1,702 kg during the whole of last year.
Falling prices in the last few days have also contributed to attracting buyers this season. On Sunday, the yellow metal was traded at Rs49,900 per tola. Prices have been hovering below Rs50,000 in recent days as per international market trends. During the same time last year, the yellow metal cost between Rs54,000 and Rs55,000 per tola.
Fenegosida President Mani Ratna Shakya said that the Teej festival and falling prices had been responsible for the rise in sales these days. “Sales were slow till one and a half months ago. When prices started falling as the festive season neared, the number of customers increased massively,” said Shakya. He complained that they were still not getting adequate stocks of the yellow metal from banks.
Till last month, gold shops were facing a shortage of gold as commercial banks, who have been granted a monopoly on imports, stopped importing gold citing a slowdown in demand from bullion traders.
Bankers said that the use of gold imported through informal channels had affected their sales as it costs less. Last month, Nepal Rastra Bank raised the gold import quota from 15 kg to 20 kg per day.
Tej Ratna Shakya, proprietor of Tejmin Jewellery, said, “Nepali women are price-conscious. So they are thronging the market to buy gold as prices have slipped below Rs50,000.” Similarly, Rajan Adhikari, sales manager of Riddhi Siddhi Jewellers at Bishal Bazaar, said that falling prices and the approaching Teej festival had led to a rise in sales.