The approach of the festive seasons has helped the domestic jewelry business rebound. Local jewelers say their business, which had been gone through a slowdown after the earthquake in April, is bouncing back slowly with the demand for gold jewelry increasing ahead of upcoming festive seasons like Teej and Dashain.
According to jewelers, they are receiving more orders for jewelry for the Teej and Dashain.
“The demand for raw gold has increased to more than 45 kg per day,” Mani Ratna Shakya, the president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association, told Republica. He says the demand for raw gold had remained below 10 kg per day for more than two months after the earthquake.
Shakya says jewelers have also introduced new jewelry designs targeting Teej festival customers. Pre-Teej is one the best seasons for jewelry business in Nepal.
“A week ago regular demand of raw gold had even gone up to almost 60 kg per day,” Shakya says, adding: “Demand will gradually come down after some days as large a number of pre-festive season customers will already have ordered jewelry.”
Shakya has also attributed the increase in jewelry sales to the stability seen in gold prices in recent days.
Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) also upped the gold import quota for commercial banks by 5 kg to 20 kg per day on August 12 to meet the festive demand for gold jewelry.
Jewelers, however, say the regular import quota of gold is still insufficient and has to be hiked, especially during festive seasons. “With insufficient supply of gold, cases of traders using smuggled gold to meet demand have also been reported,” Shakya says. “The government should be responsible in controlling gold smuggling and of use of such gold. Increasing the supply quota can help control this,” he adds.