Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is a renowned name in the gold, silver and platinum bullion industry. He is the Managing Director of Riddhi Sidhhi Bullion Ltd. His interview was taken by a trade representative for his predictions on Gold for the year 2016.
After 2 consecutive years of negative returns, what is your Gold Price Forecast for 2016?
Prithviraj Kothari: I do agree that since couple of years there is a downward trajectory with respect to Gold prices, since it had been increasing for almost 11 odd years. But according to me a range of $1050 – $1070 an oz is the cost to the mines to procure Gold. Looking at that figure, I find it difficult for the price to go below this range. I see an increase to the extent of 7% to 8% compared to last year in the year 2016.
How will it translate in the Rupee term?
Prithviraj Kothari: In rupee term, gold price may hover between Rs 24,000 and Rs 30,000 per 10 grams.
What impact do you envisage on gold following the US Fed’s interest rate hike?
Prithviraj Kothari: A 25 bps interest rate hike after a decade in 2015 followed by four such hikes in 2016 by the US Fed has already been factored in with the price of Gold. If you see the price of Gold eventually appreciated when the rate hike took place. A bottom line could be $1000 to $1050 at the most in the line with the mining costs.
What impact do you see of high import duty on gold import into India?
Prithviraj Kothari: Indian population is around 125 crore with consumption less than 1gram, bringing import figure to 850-900 tons. With present import duty of 10%, it has created big gap between International price and Indian price. This import duty almost comes to INR 250,000 per kilo. Usually, import of gold has been in the range of 800 to 900 tons per year. Last year gold smuggling was around 200 tons. The increased price gap may give rise to increase in gold malpractices.
Do you see any impact of Government related Gold schemes? Would they be beneficial?
Prithviraj Kothari: I am positive with government efforts & schemes. Gold Monetization and Gold Sovereign Bond schemes are good. Gold Monetization scheme will be worthwhile, if it can draw 1000 tons or even 500 tons of gold from temples, public etc. will also have impact on international price. It should happen gradually.
India’s gold import has been diverted towards Dore. Would it really help gold jewellery industry at large?
Prithviraj Kothari: It depends on import. Dore import is processed in limited refineries to manufacture pure gold. These refineries import Dore at $2 lower. Those jewelers will be benefitted by $3 to 4, who make ornaments by buying gold from refineries.
What is your final take on ending of 2015 and at the beginning of year 2016?
Prithviraj Kothari: 2016 will be good for the trade. It may create bullion history and it may be ‘Golden Period’ for all traders.