“Weddings are getting cancelled due to the second wave of Covid. That has hit the fresh demand for jewellery,” said Haresh Acharya, director, IBJA. “Festive muhurats often boost gold and jewellery sales but the shutdown on such days has wiped out the business entirely.”
Acharya said that minimum of 1 tonne of gold is traded across the state through the Akshaya Tritiya week, driven by wedding and muhurat purchases.
“The second lockdown in various parts of the country has hit the wealth and income of people drastically,” Acharya said. “This will lead to a very slow revival in the demand.”
Gold trading is shut in Ahmedabad and several parts of Gujarat due to the ongoing curbs. Gold price (computed based on import costs) stood at Rs 49,500 per 10 gram on Friday, according to bullion traders.
“The only saving grace for the jewellery business is that those who had placed orders in advance have not cancelled,” said Manoj Soni, an Ahmedabad jeweller. “Even though they have deferred weddings, they would invest in jewellery at some point and most have retained the orders.”
Little or no sale on festive muhurats has impacted the employment and revenues in the gems and jewellery sector. Chinubhai Choksi, president, Shree Manek Chowk Choksi Mahajan, said: “Gold artisans are in a miserable state as job work has reduced drastically.” Choksi added: “With this shutdown and no fresh orders, artisans are left without work. We have paid them for April and May but this won’t sustain for long if fresh orders don’t pour in.”
Some jewellers however, did receive orders over call from their regular clients but the volumes were low. “We got orders mainly for coins for muhurat purchases from some of our clients,” said Jigar Soni, president, Jewellers’ Association of Ahmedabad. “We have promised delivery and will take payments only at a later stage. This is nowhere close to the volume of business we do during Akshaya Tritiya.”