Gold glitters, this wedding season

Kathmandu, December 13:

This wedding season witnessed the highest sale of gold — around 750 kgs in a month —over the last 10 years.

“The month of November-December, the wedding month, saw 25-kg gold transactions per day, a huge rise after a decade-long interval,” said Tej Ratna Shakya, president of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA). Gold is traditionally used as ornaments and in marriage there’s a tradition that parents prefer to present their daughters gold ornaments.

“November-December 1998 saw the transaction of 1,050 kg gold in a month — 35 kg per day during the wedding season,” he recalled. “But the conflict took its toll and transactions started falling. It was worse in 2007, as the transaction of gold per day hovered at around only five to 10 kg per day. But this season beat our expectations of 15 kg per day sale,” he said.

According to him, the trend of investing in gold for security has started giving a boost to the transaction of the yellow metal in the domestic market.

“Due to wedding season and the trend of buying and holding gold, daily transaction has increased,” Shakya said adding that the trend of holding gold had increased by 10 to 20 per cent as against only five per cent last year.

Gold is the best security against inflation, he pointed out. The domestic market even braved the fluctution in global price to post record sales this wedding season. However, silver could not match the transaction volume of gold as it is not usually used for ornaments, even though silverware and ornaments are export items. “The export of silver ornaments this year has decreased in comparison to last year,” he said. Silver ornaments worth Rs 350 million were exported in 2007 whereas this year we had expected export worth Rs 400 million. “The silver ornaments’ export till date is not that satisfactory,” he added.

But the domestic market is experiencing a change in trend. “The demand for silver ornaments in the domestic market is also increasing recently,” said Shakya adding that teenagers are now wearing silver ornaments as a fashion statement these days. “It has increased by 20-25 per cent against 10-15 per cent last year,” Shakya said adding that it has industrial value but due to labour unrest in the industrial sector, the price of silver in the domestic market could not go up.