YLG Bullion International Co, Thailand's biggest domestic gold importer, expects to more than double purchases this year after the bear market in prices spurred a surge in demand for physical metal.
The company may import as much as 200 metric tonnes in 2013, from 92 tonnes last year, Chief Executive Officer Pawan Nawawattanasub said in an interview on Monday. First-half shipments advanced to 112 tonnes, accounting for 60% of the country's total, she said. A tonne is valued at US$42.6 million.
Gold tumbled 21% this year, heading for the first annual retreat since 2000, as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of wealth. With prices now 32% below the record reached in September 2011, the rout is boosting demand for bullion bars and coins, global sales of which surged 78% to an all-time high in the second quarter, according to the London-based World Gold Council.
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