Record Indian Gold and Silver Imports 2015
The Indian government has just introduced another hurdle to try and stop its people from buying gold. We’ve written extensively on the topic since the government swooped in 2013 with heavy taxes and charges to try and stop the rampant gold buying that saw enormous pressure on their trade account and rupee as gold represented the 2nd biggest import after oil.
The latest cunning plan introduced late last year was a gold monetisation scheme to get people to hand in their gold and receive a yield. That has been an abject failure as handing your gold to a bank defeats the purpose of having a hard asset with no counter party risk. The latest control is stricter licensing/reporting and excise duty on jewellers.
So for a populace that rivals China for a cultural understanding of the true value of holding precious metals to protect one’s wealth how are these controls going?
Well figures recently released for 2015 show a couple of things. Firstly (as seen in the chart below) 2015 just saw the 3rd highest amount of gold imported in history at 947 tonne.
Secondly we saw that, whilst Indians do indeed love their gold, when the government makes it that hard many appear to be turning to silver. Per the chart below, 2015 saw the highest ever import numbers for silver at a whopping 8,504 tonne. So at a time when the world was ooo’ing and ahhh’ing at the US Mint selling a record 47m Silver Eagles last year, India imported nearly 6 times that amount.
Now in case you missed it… check out what each of those amounts represent as a percentage of world mine production. India alone imported over 30% of world production of both gold and silver.