New Delhi, Nov 16: Gold imports fell by about 43 per cent to USD 1.68 billion in October due to reasons such as depreciating rupee and subdued demand, a development which could have positive implications for the current account deficit (CAD).
According to the commerce ministry data, gold imports had stood at USD 2.95 billion in October last year.
Despite the contraction, trade deficit widened to USD 17.13 billion in October, compared with USD 14.61 billion in the same month last year.
The imports mainly take care of demand of the jewellery industry. The exports of gems and jewellery grew by about 5.5 per cent during the month to USD 34.9 billion.
As per the data, silver imports grew by 51.7 per cent to USD 526.2 million in October.
India, the world's second-biggest gold consumer after China, imports about 900 tonnes of gold a year.
The domestic currency has depreciated nearly 14 per cent since the beginning of this year. Besides having impact on current account deficit, the sliding rupee has made imports costlier and led to oil prices skyrocketing to record highs.
CAD, the difference between outflow and inflow of foreign exchange, widened to 2.4 per cent of the GDP in the first quarter of 2018-19.