KATHMANDU, Aug 21: With Teej festival around the corner, the daily demand for gold has increased by around 5 kg because Nepalis women mostly buy golden jewelries during the festival.
Traders, however, said the demand is not that high compared to last year when daily demand during the festival has increased to Rs 35 kg. At present, daily gold demand hovers around 20 kg.
“We are not being able to meet the demand because the government supplies us just 15 kg gold in a day through commercial banks,” Tej Ratna Shakya, president of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association, said. “Demand is increasing, but the supply has remained the same. We are having hard times meeting the demand.”
Shakya said the shortage might trigger smuggling of the precious yellow metal from India and China.
Consumers are shying away from gold purchase as the price is hovering around Rs 57,700 per tola, up from Rs 48,000 per tola during the same season last year.
Jewelers also say that have not been able to create new designs due to shortage of gold this year. “Gold supply has worsened to such extent that we have not been able to offer new designs to our customers,” said Manik Ratna Shakya, general secretary of Negosida and proprietor of Gahana Kunj. “We had even asked the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to increase supply quota on seasonal basis. But it seems that our request has fallen on deaf ears.”
Gold equaled record high of Rs 57,700 per tola in the domestic market on Tuesday. It had climbed to the all time high of Rs 57,700 per tola on June 21.
The yellow metal was traded at $1,623 per ounce in the international market on Tuesday.