Mideast gold demand plunges led by record lows in UAE, Egypt

Middle East gold jewellery demand plunged 24 per cent in the third quarter, battered by the twin effects of high gold prices and low crude, with usage in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt at record lows, the World Gold Council said. Mideast demand fell to 42.1 metric tons, with Egypt’s usage down 50 per cent from a year earlier to 6 tons and the UAE off 23 per cent to 7.8 tons, the World Gold Council said in its quarterly demand trends report published Tuesday. Saudi Arabia declined 23 per cent to 12.7 tons, while Iran rose 6 per cent to 11 tons. “Persistently low oil revenues in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have strained finances and impacted jewellery consumers,” the producer-funded World Gold Council said. Iran “continues to benefit from more favourable economic conditions than other markets in the region”. In Turkey, slowing economic growth and record high local gold prices contributed to 22 per cent drop in third-quarter demand, the World Gold Council said. “The prospects for the fourth quarter remain weak as political instability and continued lira weakness frame the consumer picture.” (Claudia Carpenter/Bloomberg)

More from Business News