Sale of jewellery increased in the fourth quarter of 2012 but dropped for the whole year, according to figures released by the World Gold Council.
The UAE residents and tourists spent $408 million (Dh1.5 billion) on jewellery in the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to $385 million (Dh1.4 billion) for the same period the previous year, an increase of six per cent; while annual jewellery sales dropped seven per cent to $2.266 billion (Dh8.316 billion) from $2.443 billion (Dh8.965 billion) in 2011, WGC said in its annual report.
In terms of volume, Q4 2012 jewellery sales rose four per cent to 7.4 tonnes, but annual sales fell 16 per cent to 42.3 tonnes.
Total gold sales – including bar and coin investment – in Q4 2012 rose three per cent to $557 million (Dh2.04 billion) from $543 million (Dh1.99 billion) in Q4 2011. Quarterly sales volume totalled 10.1 tonnes, an increase of one per cent.
Full-year gold sales in the UAE totalled $2.777 billion (Dh10.2 billion) – a drop of seven per cent. Volumes also dropped 15 per cent to 51.8 million tonnes.
Globally, annual gold demand measured on a value basis increased to an all-time record of $236.4 billion in 2012. On a tonnage basis, demand totalled 4,405.5 tonnes in 2012, down by four per cent from 2011as increase in demand from institutional investors and central banks only partly offset a year-on-year decline in consumer demand.
World Gold Council said Q4 2012 was the strongest quarter for global jewellery demand since Q1 2011 as India, and to some extend the Middle East, drove a recovery in the sector.
The global body forecast that jewellery demand will soften in volume terms while sustaining healthy values. Investment demand, while to some extend dependent on the movement in the gold price during the year and exchange rate effects on local prices, should again exceed historical averages as investors continue to focus on gold’s role as a store of wealth. Continued innovation in the range of gold investment products available across a range of countries confirms the healthy appetite for gold among investors.
Gold prices fell $25.9 to six-month low of $1,608.8 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday. The yellow metal price is down nearly 3.9 per cent year-to-date.