HYDERABAD (Reuters) – The State Trading Corporation’s (STC) gold imports are likely to decline by 20 percent to 80 tonnes in the 12 months to March 2013 as higher prices curb demand, the head of the operation run by the central government said on Saturday.
High inflation has hit consumers’ disposable income and a 4 percent import duty has increased gold prices, triggering a sharp decline in gold imports into India, the world’s biggest buyer of bullion.
“There is overall slowing down and people are very conscious of prices,” said N.K. Mathur, chairman and managing director of STC, which gets 70 percent of its business from gold.
Gold prices on the Multi Commodity Exchange struck a contract high of 30,899 rupees per 10 grams this week backed by strong overseas leads and a weaker rupee.
(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Alison Williams)