Jewellery lament tepid business this Dashain

Kathmandu, October 14

While a majority of businesses boom during Dashain, jewellery traders report their business was down by more than 50 per cent this year compared to the previous year.

According to traders, the daily demand for raw gold in the market which stood at 45 kg around Dashain last year dropped to 20 kg per day this year. They further said that jewellery business, which plummeted largely after the earthquake of last year has not been able to revive.

Traders have cited low purchasing capacity of people after the earthquake as the reason for jewellery business losing shine in the domestic market.

“Normally the demand for jewellery peaks during festivals like Dashain and Tihar. However, this year jewellery business went down drastically as the market demand for raw gold was hardly 20 kg per day against daily demand of more than 45 kg in the previous Dashains,” Mani Ratna Shakya, president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association, said.

Shakya said the lacklustre demand could be attributed to people’s focus shifting towards basic necessities like food and shelter instead of luxurious items like gold jewellery after the earthquakes.

“Most people have poured their investment into recovery, reconstruction and in fulfilling daily necessities. Because of this, the demand for luxurious goods has slumped and the jewellery business has taken a hit,” added Shakya.

Moreover, traders reported that more people seemed interested in selling their gold jewellery this Dashain instead of purchasing new ones.

“A large number of customers wanted to sell back their gold ornaments this Dashain — so much so that at times we faced difficulty in arranging for adequate cash,” Tej Ratna Shakya, former president of the federation said, adding that a huge quantity of raw gold remained in stock with jewellers this Dashain.

Meanwhile, traders also said that rise in gold price acted as a further deterrent for buyers this Dashain. “Though gold price came down slightly around mid-Dashain this year, the average price of gold remained at Rs 58,000 per tola after Teej festival. Last year, the average price of the yellow metal after Teej was around Rs 53,000 a tola,” Mani Ratna said.

The business of precious metals has lost so much lustre that some jewellers have even shut shop, as per traders. According to the federation, there are 22,000 jewellery outlets across the country.