Silver trade gaining ground at home

Kathmandu, March 13 :

Silver market at last is gaining ground not only at the domestic level but overseas also. With its multi-purpose use, silver is on its way to gaining popularity not just as a handicraft export product but also as a thing of value in the domestic market.

“The trade of silver has been increasing by 10 per cent annually,” said Tej Ratna Shakya, president of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA). Shakya said, “During 1994, silver was traded in very small quantities, around 10-15 kg per day but with the change in trends and demands of people around 150 kg of silver is being traded daily.”

According to Tej Ratna Shakya about 60 tonnes of silver are traded annually. “Silver has more potential if there are favorable conditions. At least 200 kg of silver can be traded per day,” he said.

Ten years ago, only rich families used silver for different household purposes but now it is not limited to household purposes only. People have begun to use it as latest fashion statements, he said. Silver also has its demand in the industrial sector and for medicinal purposes too. . About 25 per cent of silver is used for industrial purposes, Shakya said.

According to Pushkar Man Shakya, president of the Federation of Nepalese Handicraft Association of Nepal (FHAN), Nepali handicrafts are the most value-added products that are exported to foreign countries. Amongst different handicraft products, silver jewellery has its

own market. “Silver jewellery is mostly exported to European countries and America where people prefer silver rather than gold. They wear it as ethnic jewellery,” he said.

Talking about the problems due to lack of raw materials, he said, “Earlier, we used to get raw materials for silver jewellery from Nepal Rastra Bank (RBB) but now we lack this facility. We are facing problems regarding the international rate, RBB rate and market rate,” said Shakya, adding that this had created dilemma for the people involved in silver jewellery export as the silver they buy from the local market lacks quality.

According to the six months data of handicraft goods export for the fiscal year 2008-09, total silver jewellery exported was worth Rs 188 million, an increase by 16.45 per cent over the same period last year which saw silver worth Rs 161.794 million exported. Total contribution of silver jewellery to export products is 11.25 per cent, according to the FHAN data.

Gold graph

KATHMANDU: Gold this week opened at Rs 25,000 per 10 gram and was traded for the same price on Monday.

On Tuesday, the market remained closed due to Holi but opened with a fall of Rs 565 on Wednesday that is Rs 24,435 per 10 gram. Price of gold increased to Rs 24,605 that is an increment of Rs 170 on Thursday. Gold this week closed at another increased price of Rs 260 that is Rs 24,865, states Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA). Meanwhile, Silver opened at Rs 353 per 10 gram and remained the same price on Monday. Wednesday the silver reopened at Rs 347 and later increased to Rs 350 on Thursday. Friday silver closed at Rs 353 per 10 gram. — HNS