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Middle East Gold Sales Drop 27%

Written By Luke Burgess

Posted May 21, 2009


Middle east gold sales fell 27% during the first quarter of 2009, compared to the same period of last year, as worldwide economic concerns and higher gold prices turned some buyers away.

The region’s jewelry sector made the largest contribution to the drop in gold sales, although both jewelery and investment demand recorded similar declines. About 90% of the total consumer sales demand is in the form of jewelry.

In the UAE, total gold sales dropped 31% from 24.2 tonnes during 1Q2008 to 16.6 tonnes in 1Q2009. UAE gold jewelery sales declined 33% from 21.9 tonnes to 14.6 tonnes, while net retail investment recorded a more modest 15% decline from 2.3 to 2.0 tonnes.

Saudi Arabian gold jewelry sales fell 23% during 1Q 2009 compared to year-earlier levels but net retail investment rose 8%. Meanwhile, other Gulf Countries recorded a decline in total tonnage of a similar magnitude to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with Kuwait being the main source of weakness.

– luke