x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Abu Dhabi gold sales slump

Demand falls by a quarter in the first half of this month, says the local industry's retail organisation.

Newly minted Swiss gold; sales in Abu Dhabi have fallen in December.
Newly minted Swiss gold; sales in Abu Dhabi have fallen in December.

Gold sales in Abu Dhabi have slumped by 25 per cent during the first half of December, says the chairman of the local jewellery retail association. The lagging sales came after a peak in gold demand in October when the price of the precious metal ended at US$720.35 an ounce, compared to a record high of $1030.80 an ounce in March. People looking to park their cash in a safe investment rushed to buy bullion, gold coins and jewellery in October, with the UAE experiencing a 53 per cent increase in sales during the third quarter compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the World Gold Council. However, the price has risen steadily over the past six weeks, and spot gold is currently around $876 an ounce. "The rates have gone up even further, so it will be even more difficult now," said Tushar Patni, the chairman of Abu Dhabi Gold and Jewellery Group, an informal representative body for jewellers in the emirate. "Sales will drop. They have dropped and they will drop." November sales have also lagged and in Abu Dhabi they dropped 20 per cent compared to the year prior, said Mr Patni. December's sales have dropped 25 per cent compared to last year, including bullion sales, he added. "Prices are still going up, so you never know. Things might go down further. In the UAE a lot of it depends on the gold prices. As soon as you see lower prices they start buying." aligaya@thenational.ae