x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dubai jewellers look to China to boost gold sales

The jewellery industry in Dubai is looking towards China to boost sales of gold, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) says.

The jewellery industry in Dubai is looking towards China to boost sales of gold, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) says. China, which was the second-largest consumer of gold and the world's largest producer last year, should be a key market for Dubai's jewellery industry, said the DMCC's chief executive, Dr David Rutledge. "We recognise the importance of the Chinese market at a time of increased volatility in the global economy, including in the commodities sector," he said. "Further strengthening ties between these two growth regions will clearly benefit both sides, and the opportunities in the gold trade are especially compelling." Gold demand in Dubai has dropped by at least 20 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, said Chandu Siroya, the vice chairman of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group. Sales in the first quarter fell by 30 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. Across the Middle East, the demand for gold dropped 26 per cent during the first three months of this year compared with last year, the World Gold Council reported. Retailers and analysts attributed the slump in sales to a high price for gold and a drop in tourists coming to the Emirates. In contrast, China's per capita gold consumption grew by 8 per cent last year, bucking the trend seen in most other international markets, according to the DMCC. However, per capita gold consumption in the Chinese market is still low, at just 0.2 grams per person compared with the world average of 1.3 grams per person and 19.6 grams per person in the UAE, an indication of the potential of the Chinese market. Dr Rutledge said Dubai companies could thrive in the Chinese market because of the relatively low cost of manufacturing there. Many Chinese companies are also interested in entering the Dubai market, said Harendra Kailath, the director for gold at DMCC. aligaya@thenational.ae