Among India’s top 10 import partners, inbound shipments from Switzerland only increased in the last fiscal year, up 7.8% to $ 18.2 billion, led by gold. In addition, the European country replaced Saudi Arabia to become India’s fourth import partner while the West Asian country dropped one rank.
Total imports from China fell 0.07% to $ 65.21 billion, but the country remained India’s main source of shipments, followed by the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Germany entered the list of India’s top 10 import sources in the last fiscal year, replacing Indonesia.
India is the world’s second largest consumer of gold after China.
“Switzerland is the largest gold refining center and transit hub in the world, and imports there have been increasing there for some time for this reason,” said an official, who declined to be identified. . Last year India imported $ 4.19 billion worth of gold from the UAE, followed by South Africa for $ 2.5 billion. Raw forms of gold including bars, gold plated with platinum or in semi-manufactured and powdered forms were the main items imported by India.
“The best gold refineries in the world are in Switzerland with the highest quality gold and consumers prefer to buy Swiss gold over that of other countries,” said a Gems & Jewelery official. Export Promotion Council, asking not to be identified.
The government reduced import duties on the yellow metal to 10% from 12.5%, including 7.5% customs duties and 2.5% tax on agricultural infrastructure and development.
In the first quarter of this fiscal year, India’s gold imports rose 1,046.7 percent to $ 7.8 billion, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Gold is the second most important commodity in India’s import basket, with a share of around 8.8%.