Higher prices dent jewellery business

Gold price has surged by Rs 2,200 per tola in the last one year

Kathmandu, February 19

The surging gold price has brought down the demand of raw gold in the domestic market, denting the business of jewellers amidst the wedding season.

As the slipping value of US dollar has made the precious yellow metal dearer in the domestic market, jewellery business is lean this season compared to the previous year, according to jewellers.

Gold price has increased by Rs 2,200 per tola over the period of last one year owing to plummeting value of dollar.

As per the statistics of Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA), gold was traded at Rs 55,800 per tola on February 18 last year, while its rate stood at a staggering Rs 58,000 a tola today. Contrarily, the exchange rate of the US dollar, which stood at Rs 107.62 on February 19 last year has slipped to Rs 103.04 today.

“Customers often tend to defer their plans of purchasing gold jewellery when gold price starts to rise and the same is happening now. Though the wedding season has already started, Nepali consumers are waiting for the gold price to come down,” said Mohan Kumar Sunar, president of FeNeGoSiDA.

As per Sunar, gold jewellery business this season has dropped by almost 10 per cent compared to the previous year and the market demand of raw gold at present stands at almost 35 kilograms a day against the average daily demand of 45 kilogram recorded during the wedding season a year back.

Moreover, jewellers said that customers are instead preferring to sell their gold ornaments following surge in price of the yellow metal in the recent days, which has been adding financial pressure on jewellers.

Moreover, even though the government has been delaying the process of hiking import quota for gold, jewellers have remained mum due to the lean demand of the yellow metal in the market. Though Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) had proposed the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to hike import quota of gold for banks by five kilograms to 25 kilograms in first week of January, MoC is still undecided on this proposal of the central bank.