(PTI) Two-day festival of Dhanteras saw robust sales of gold, jewellery and coins this year on strong pent up demand with the jewellery industry expecting up to 35 per cent growth in the business over the last year.
Although there was a lull in the jewellery market for a few hours on Sunday owing to the India-Pakistan cricket match, footfalls picked up after the match and brisk sales were reported across the country, jewellers said.
Even slightly high gold prices did not deter the consumers from buying on Dhanteras, which was spread over Saturday and Sunday. Dhanteras is considered the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar for buying items ranging from precious metals to utensils, to other valuables.
On Sunday, gold prices continued to rule at ₹50,139 per 10 grams, excluding taxes, in the national capital, higher than ₹47,644 per 10 grams on Dhanteras day in 2021.
Normally, 20-30 tonnes of gold is sold on a Dhanteras day. Not only precious metals and jewellery, people also purchase vehicles and other items on the auspicious day.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd delivered an estimated 21,000 vehicles on two days of Dhanteras festival this year, company Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava told PTI.
This was around 10 per cent higher than last year but less than the peak years of 2018 and 2019, he added as there are still constraints on availability of models with high demand which have long waiting periods.
"The response has been very good since Saturday as overall the market has been buoyant across the country. ...We expect a 10-15 per cent increase in sales from the 2021 level on strong pent up demand after the pandemic," All India Gem And Jewellery Domestic Council chairman Ashish Pethe told PTI.
On the second day of Dhanteras on Sunday, there was a lull in the jewellery markets owing to the India-Pakistan cricket match. But the footfall picked up after the match and shops were abuzz with buying activity, he added.
According to World Gold Council Regional CEO, India, Somasundaram PR, sales on this Dhanteras were reported to be better by 15-25 per cent when compared to the last year as the festive occasion rekindled strong consumer sentiment in favour of gold.
"Though it is difficult to estimate demand on a particular day, from industry accounts, it appears that Navratri followed by Dhanteras has heralded a period of high demand and this should be reflected in other metrics in the next few weeks," Somasundaram added.
Maharashtra-based PNG Jewellers chairman and managing director Saurabh Gadgil said the festival was on a weekend which helped boost sales and "expect a 25-30 per cent increase in sale volume from over the last year".
This year around 80 per cent of purchases were jewellery and the rest bullion, indicating that people's confidence in the economy was back and the consumption was at an all-time high, he added.
PM Shah Jewellers Managing Director Dinesh Jain said, "Extraordinary demand and sales were reported so far. We expect a 30-35 per cent increase in sales volumes and a 40-45 per cent rise in value terms during the two-day festival."
Jewellery stores will remain open till midnight on Sunday. Not only pre-wedding jewellery, fresh buying of gold jewellery and coins was seen this time. An interesting trend was that most consumers were making digital payments, he added.
Kalyan Jewellers India Executive Director Ramesh Kalyanaraman said, "We registered robust pre-bookings for purchases this Dhanteras."
In the Middle East, the past three quarters have clocked consistent performance and Dhanteras has also been showing good traction. "With the wedding season approaching its peak next month, we believe the overall demand momentum will continue to show an uptick,” he added.
Kolkata-based Senco Gold and Diamonds managing director and CEO Suvankar Sen said factors like lower gold prices, discount offers, positive mindset of customers and increased number of footfalls at stores coupled with an increase in average ticket size of purchase have brightened up the auspicious Dhanteras buying.
"Expecting standard low double-digit percentage of sales in value terms for the season. Urban centres have seen more growth compared to rural centre demand. This may be maybe due to a muted monsoon," he added.
Uttar Pradesh-based Aisshpra Gems and Jewels director Vaibhav Saraf said, "We have witnessed more movement in lighter gold jewellery and coins this year. Overall we anticipate over 15 per cent growth in sales from last year."
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) stated the estimated business during two-day Dhanteras this year was at around ₹45,000 crore with the jewellery business being around ₹25,000 crore.
The rest of the business of about ₹20,000 crores accrued in automobiles, computer and computer-related goods, furniture, items needed for home and office decoration, sweets and snacks, kitchen items, all kinds of utensils, electronics, CAIT said in a statement.
After the two years recession in the market due to Covid-19, CAIT estimated that this year's Diwali festival business figure would cross ₹1.5 lakh crores in the country.
In addition to the jewellery business, CAIT national president B C Bhartia said the automobile sector is estimated to have registered a business of ₹6,000 crore, furniture about ₹1,500 crore, computer and computer-related items about ₹2,500 crore, FMCG about ₹3,000 crore, electronics good about ₹1,000 crores, stainless steel, aluminium and brass utensils about ₹500 crores.
Expected business registered in the case of kitchen appliances and other kitchen items is about ₹700 crore, while textiles, readymade garments and fashion clothes about ₹1,500 crores during the Dhanteras, he added.