(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Gold prices have been sliding for the past week but local bullion traders say demand remains low mainly because the rush for the precious metal among Indians is on a decline due to a customs levy imposed on gold imports by New Delhi.
Based on the international rate of the yellow metal per ounce yesterday (1,230), the price per gram of pure gold in the Qatari market worked out to QR144 per gram.
Al Badiya Jewellery's Nasir Aslam said they always sold gold and jewellery based on international rates. Some outlets, however, have their own calculations.
Likewise, the rates for 22, 21 and 18-carat gold were QR133, QR127 and QR108, respectively. The standard 116.64 (10-tola) gold bar was available for QR16,800.
But Nasir Aslam said the demand for both, gold and jewellery, had come down sharply after Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.
He said it mght perhaps be due to a customs levy introduced to gold imports by India that Indian expatriates were now not showing much interest.
Indians are large buyers of gold and its jewellery so given their sizeable presence here they influence demand, Nasir Aslam suggested.
"Not many Indians we see in the souq these days," said another jeweller in the Gold Souq who didn't want to be identified.
To recall, India imposed a customs levy on gold imports recently to rein in its yawning current account deficit.
Media reports trickling from Dubai, which has the region's biggest bullion market, suggest gold and jewellery sales were considerably down in the emirate due to the Indian factor.
A bullion trader said requesting anonymity that he estimated that the demand for gold and jewellery in the Qatari market might have fallen about 40 percent since the Indian decision.