Gold (SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) ) demand slumped 20% in India over 2018 according to a report in India’s Economic Times news outlet.  This isn’t too surprising in light of the decline – some would say collapse – of the rupee last Spring. Any time a currency drops 8% in less than 6 months you can be sure prices for imported products will rise.
Add to that the increases in gold taxes in 2017, and 2018 was set up to be a low-demand year in India.  What may be surprising is that demand only dropped 20% compared to 2017.
Annual Imports
Indian market watchers are calling for a recovery in the rupee during 2019.  If the rupee does recover then gold demand will likely firm up, as Indians are still terribly fond of their gold.  And if the gov’t backs down the gold taxes even halfway we can expect a full recovery in demand.  Whether that will happen remains to be seen.

The Gold Enthusiast

DISCLAIMER: The author is long the gold sector through small positions in ETFs and a few junior mining stocks.