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Thai gold imports plunge

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Gold shipments to Thailand are forecast to contract by as much as half this year, a sign the unprecedented Asian demand that helped stem last year’s rout in prices is weakening. 

Thailand’s purchases may be 150 to 200 metric tonnes because of falling prices and the country’s political crisis, according to YLG Bullion International Co, the largest local importer. They fell 78 % in the first quarter from a year earlier and totalled 314 tonnes in 2013, valued at about US$13 billion (422.5 billion baht)

Consumption across Asia reached a record in 2013 even as some investors in the United States and Europe lost their faith in bullion as a store of value. Prices snapped a 12-year bull market, the longest in at least nine decades. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by gold are still contracting and Goldman Sachs Group says prices will keep retreating.

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