Investment demand for gold, which had slipped by 35 per cent in the July-September quarter, may decline further in the fourth quarter of 2019 as rural India has stayed away from investing in gold after the kharif crop harvest. Investment demand for gold in rural India, which picks up every year after harvesting of the kharif crop, has plunged 50-60 per cent this year compared with a year ago.
Crop loss due to heavy and unseasonal rains this year has kept farmers away from gold purchases. Farmers are now buying gold only for wedding purposes, and the ticket sizes are small. Of the 850-900 tonnes of gold consumed annually in India, rural consumption accounts for nearly 60 per cent.