Local gold demand seen as muted
published : 3 Feb 2023 at 04:00
newspaper section: Business
writer: Sirinnaree Ongsakul
Gold demand in Thailand is likely to pull back this year after rising 3% in 2022 as consumers are concerned about a global economic slowdown, according to the World Gold Council.
The council's latest Gold Demand Trends report found overall gold demand in Thailand surged to 37.9 tonnes last year, with the fourth quarter tallying a 9% year-on-year increase to 13.5 tonnes from 12.4 tonnes in 2021.
Demand for bars and coins rose 8% year-on-year to 10.8 tonnes from 10 tonnes a year earlier, while jewellery demand grew 15% to 2.8 tonnes in the final quarter from 2.4 tonnes a year earlier, said Andrew Naylor, regional chief executive of Asia-Pacific (ex-China) at the council.
Among other factors driving demand was a recovery in tourism and the economy, though he said annual jewellery demand remained relatively muted in comparison with pre-Covid levels.
Thai trends in 2022 matched global gold market demand. Last year, global gold demand excluding over-the-counter rose 18% to tally 4,741 tonnes, the highest annual amount since 2011, driven by hefty central bank buying and continued strong retail investment.
Despite an increase in global demand, the council suggested the 2023 outlook calls for a slowdown in consumer demand, likely affected by a global recession.
"Jewellery consumption is expected to remain resilient, bolstered by pent-up demand as China reopens, though consumer spending will be squeezed if there is a more severe downturn," said Louise Street, the council's senior markets analyst.
Mr Naylor said institutional investment demand for gold will be stronger this year following the weakening of the US dollar. He said supporting factors include geopolitical and economic uncertainties and the buying capacity among central banks, especially emerging markets.