New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) After recording decline, gold imports more than doubled to USD 3.80 billion in December, driven by dip in global prices.
In December 2014, gold imports stood at USD 1.36 billion, according to Commerce Ministry data. The figure for December 2015 is the highest in the last three months. In August last year, it was USD 4.95 billion.
The prices have been declining at global as well as domestic markets and higher import impacts the country's current account deficit (CAD).
The jump in imports has widened the trade deficit to a four month high of USD 11.66 billion in the month under review. India is the largest importer of gold in the world, the demand of which mostly comes from the jewellery industry.
During April-December this fiscal, the imports increased to USD 26.45 billion as against USD 25.85 billion in the same period last year. In 2014-15, gold was the third-largest commodity imported to India after crude oil and electronic items. In the respective fiscal, the country's imports stood at USD 34.32 billion.
In terms of volume, India -- the world's second-biggest gold consumer -- had imported around 900 tonnes in 2014.
Gold prices in the international market have fallen to a five-year low. India imported 850 tonnes of gold during January-September period of 2015 as against 650 tonnes in the year-ago period.