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Indian wedding season to boost precious metals’ demand this winter?

By Indrabati Lahiri

16:50, 19 December 2022

A variety of gold jewellery against a plain background
India has seen an increase in gold jewellery demand during this year's wedding season – Photo: Getty Images

Although Indian weddings take place throughout the year, the bulk of them fall between November and February traditionally. During this time, physical gold and silver demand usually surges quite a lot, especially as gold jewellery is an essential part of any Indian wedding. This is due to both gold’s aesthetic and symbolic significance in weddings.

How is this year’s Indian wedding season boosting precious metal demand?

This year, according to this report, approximately 3.2 million weddings are scheduled for the key wedding period, from mid-November to about February next year. This has not only led to a huge increase in the consumption of precious metals, such as gold, but also of apparel, consumer durables, electronics and staple food items.

An upcoming wedding planning app, WedMeGood highlights that 2022 is likely to see quite a rebound in weddings, especially from those couples who postponed their plans from the previous year, or who held off altogether. This is especially true since suppliers and consumers alike were struggling to downsize weddings, as well as adjust to the coronavirus restrictions last year.

According to the World Gold Council, India imported about 191.7 tonnes of gold in the third quarter of the year, which was an increase of about 14% from the same time last year. In monetary terms, gold prices saw an increase of about 19% in India during Q3 2022.

Coming to silver, India saw the precious metal’s imports surge to record highs in 2022, hitting about 8000 tonnes, boosted largely by silver jewellery demand. This was also backed by jewellery fabrication demand rising by about 11% this year in India.

Gold and the Indian rupee have performed similarly since March 2022's start of Fed hikes

Gold and INR/USD performance since March 14, 2022 (start of Fed rate hikes) – Chart: Capital.com, Source: Tradingview

Wedding season in India often coincides with Diwali, or Deepawali, which is a major festival across the country and prompts a number of gold-buying sprees. This also adds significantly to gold demand and sales figures for the fourth quarter of the year.

Furthermore, this rise in both silver and gold demand, especially jewellery fabrication demand, is largely due to a number of buyers preferring to have their wedding jewellery made-to-order, with a relatively unique design, instead of buying readymade jewellery in retail stores. This allows them to use heritage and heirloom designs as well as highly customise every piece.

Natural Gas

2.16 Price
+1.220% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0630%
Short position overnight fee 0.0410%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0050

Silver

29.25 Price
-2.070% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0202%
Short position overnight fee 0.0120%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.050

Gold

2,401.36 Price
-1.830% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0198%
Short position overnight fee 0.0116%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 1.20

Oil - Brent

81.89 Price
-2.560% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee 0.0304%
Short position overnight fee -0.0524%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.045

Although the bulk of these purchases are often made during the wedding season, 2022 has also seen a consistently higher demand for precious metals throughout the year. This is largely due to Indian weddings being planned well in advance and wedding jewellery being bought in stages, over a period of several months or even years, to ease cash flow issues.

This trend has been exacerbated in the last year, as higher inflation has diminished disposable income considerably for a number of households. This is especially true for clients who already had their wedding deposits tied up with a number of suppliers and service providers from the last year. 

India's gold demand has remained quite strong this year, despite the Indian rupee becoming relatively weaker against the US dollar (DXY) recently. However, as pointed out here, this is largely due to the US dollar gaining quite a bit of strength relatively quickly, rather than the rupee's intrinsic weakness. 

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Gold technical analysis

Piero Cingari, a market analyst at Capital.com, noted that a bearish attempt resurfaced on the daily chart of gold after a bearish divergence RSI formed in December, with prices topping 1,824 while the oscillator decreased.

Gold is currently trading at the 200-day moving average and a critical support level of 1,788, which corresponds to the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of the 2022 range.

If the negative pressure strengthens further in the coming weeks as a result of hawkish Fed remarks, gold's next support level would be 1,721 (50-day moving average and 23.6% Fibonacci).

Gold chart showing the 50-day and 200-day moving averageGold technical analysis as of December 19, 2022 – Photo: Capital.com, Source: Tradingview

Markets in this article

Gold
Gold
2401.36 USD
-44.85 -1.830%
Silver
Silver
29.251 USD
-0.618 -2.070%
DXY
US Dollar Index
103.945 USD
0.135 +0.130%

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