Rising gold prices keep wedding shoppers away

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Rising gold prices keep wedding shoppers away

Jan 21, 2015-

Gold prices have been keeping to an upward trajectory bringing a frown to the faces of wedding shoppers. Since mid-January when the marriage season started, prices have been rising in line with international trends disappointing families who need to make bridal jewellery.

On Wednesday, the yellow metal jumped Rs 800 to Rs 54,400 per tola in the domestic market. Prices have swelled Rs 2,200 per tola over the last one week. Apart from slight fluctuations last week, prices have been climbing for four days straight this week.

Similarly, silver prices surged Rs 20 to Rs 755 per tola on a single day on Wednesday.

Bullion traders said that rising gold prices had badly affected sales. Mani Ratna Shakya, president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association, said that business was down 25 percent compared to the same period last year.

“We sold around 25-30 kg of gold during last year’s marriage season, but this year sales have reached only 10-15 kg though the marriage season started a week ago,” he said.

People have been recycling old jewellery instead of buying fresh gold due to rising prices, he added.

Traders said that only those in great need of gold to make jewellery had been buying it. Other potential customers have been putting off their plans, they added.

“Many people who used to consider gold as an investment option have given up plans to buy it due to fluctuating prices, said Shakya. Gold was traded at Rs 53,300 per tola on January 21 last year.

Similarly, Manish Pradhan, president of the Nepal Gem and Jewellery Association (Negja), said that rising prices had affected sales. “We are expecting sales to improve as the more auspicious days for weddings are yet to come, but current trends show that sales will be slow in the coming days too,” he said.

The central bank allows banks to import 15 kg of gold daily. However, the bullion market seems to be getting its supplies through informal channels as the gold imported by banks has been lying unsold.

Gold prices in the international market climbed 0.6 percent to $1,303 per ounce on Wednesday and silver rose 1.9 percent to $18.33 per ounce, the highest since September.

Shakya said that investors worldwide were buying gold as an alternative investment with the dollar weakening and oil prices in freefall. Last week, the yellow metal rose in the international market as investors sought safety from market volatility after Switzerland unexpectedly scrapped a cap on the franc.

Published: 22-01-2015 09:53

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