MUMBAI: India's gold imports in February dropped a quarter from a year ago to 63 tonnes as higher prices curtailed demand in the world's second-biggest consumer of bullion, provisional data from precious metals consultancy GFMS and bank dealers showed.
The drop in purchases by India, though, could weigh on global prices, which are still up nearly 8 percent from a mid-December trough, despite dropping back from a 17-month high hit at end-January.
Lower gold imports could also help the South Asian Country reduce its trade deficit, which rose to the highest in more than 4-1/2 years in January. In January, imports fell 14 percent from the same month the previous year to 41.3 tonnes.
In March, imports could rise back above 80 tonnes due to Akshay Tritiya festival next month, a gold dealer with a separate private bank said.