With Ganesh Chaturthi fast approaching, people are shopping for the festivities. But this time there has been a 70% drop in the sale of gold ornaments that devotees offer to Ganpati during the festival.
Breaching a psychological barrier, gold prices in Mumbai touched new high of a little over Rs 40,000 per 10 gm, on Monday. "This is indeed an unprecedented high, but lower by at least 20 per cent in US Dollar terms. Presently, it is $1,545 on the Comex, lower that $1,920 in September 2011," expert and former All Indian Gems & Jewellery Federation Chairman Bachhraj Bamalwa told IANS. If the current global political crises and the trade wars continue to escalate, then the gold prices may shoot up further, crossing Rs 41,000 per 10 gms in the next few months.
According to the Hindustan Times, the Mumbai Jewellers Association (MJA) has blamed the rising gold prices. But while the gold prices have skyrocketed, the sale of silver items have increased. During Ganesh Chaturthi, devotees tend to offer gold ornaments, such as crowns, trunks, durvas, coins and chains to the deity.
Kumar Jain, vice president, MJA told the Hindustan Times, “We have seen a drop of approximately 70% in sale of gold items which were made for Ganpati this year. Devotees have either postponed their purchases to next year or are buying lesser quantities.” He added that the prices have jumped by around Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 per 10 grams.
It’s just not the Jewellers Association that have spoken about the decline in gold sales, even the goldsmiths have said that they have made less gold ornaments as compared to last year. Ratnadeep Chindarkar, who has a workshop at Chinchpokli, told the Hindustan Times, “We used to make at least 15 gold ornaments annually which has now dropped to two or three. In contrast, the number of silver ornaments made has increased this year as we have orders of at least 15, as compared to 10 last year.” Chindarkar also said that even the mandals which used to make gold ornaments for the idols have refrained from doing so this year.