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Gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit, declined 17.38 per cent to about USD 24 billion during April-October due to fall in demand, according to the data of the commerce ministry.

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Imports of the yellow metal stood at USD 29 billion in the corresponding period of 2021-22.

The imports during October this year also contracted by 27.47 per cent to USD 3.7 billion, the data showed.

Silver imports during the month too dipped 34.80 per cent to USD 585 million. Cumulatively, the imports, however, jumped to USD 4.8 billion as against USD 1.52 billion during April-October 2021-22.

The merchandise trade deficit for April-October 2022 was estimated at USD 173.46 billion as against USD 94.16 billion in the year-ago period.

India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonne of gold annually.

Gems and jewellery exports rose marginally by 1.81 per cent to USD 24 billion in April-October 2022.

According to industry experts, demand will start picking up from January. PTI RR ANU ANU

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