Gold imports are likely to fall below 50 tonnes this month due to sharp fall in exchange rate of rupee and high global prices of the precious metal, according to market experts.

"Weakening of rupee will have some impact on volume of gold import in June as well as in July," Bombay Bullion Association (BBA) president (Emeritus) Suresh Hundia told . India had imported 50 tonnes of gold in June, 2012. "But looking at the trend in the last 10 days, imports are likely to be less than 50 tonnes this month," he said.

This is steep fall considering imports in April and May were 142 tonnes and 162 tonnes respectively. Rupee yesterday had plummeted to all-time low of 58.16 against dollar making imports costlier. Besides weakening of rupee, Hundia said, high global prices are expected to curtail gold shipments in June-July. Harish Gallipilli, head of commodities and currency division, inditrade derivatives and commodities, said, "gold has become costlier due to sharp slide in rupee against dollar.

Imports might also slow down because of this." The demand for gold has come down as prices are firming up and are now ruling at over Rs 28,000 per ten grams. If prices continue remain up, the demand might fall further and thereby imports, said a bullion trader from the national capital. Experts said domestic demand is likely to pick up in August when festivals and wedding season begin. The demand also depends on spread of monsoon rain.

A fall gold imports will bring relief to the government, which has taken several measures like increasing in import duty to 8 per cent to curb shipments in order to bring down its current account deficit.

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