Gold jewellers in the UAE saw a slowdown in sales during the third quarter of the year compared to a year earlier, reflecting a global downturn caused by “very elevated” prices, according to a new report.

Jewellery demand in the UAE declined by 15% to nine tonnes in the third quarter of 2023, the World Gold Council said in its latest report. The year-to-date demand also fell by 19% to 29 tonnes compared to the same period last year.

The fall was largely due to last year’s high base, the report said. Overall, demand across the Middle East dropped by 12% to just under 43 tonnes.

“The 2022 post-COVID-19 resurgence faded from view,” the report noted.

Egypt emerged as the weakest performer in the region, with demand dropping by 27% due to local currency’s decline.

Global decline

Demand also dropped in other markets, with China posting a 6% decline, and US and Europe recording declines of 4% and 3%, respectively.

Jewellery consumption in Thailand fell for the third consecutive quarter, albeit by a more modest 2%, while demand in Vietnam dropped by 14% and Indonesia 20%.

However, in India, demand rose by 7%. Overall, global gold jewellery consumption fell by 2%.

“Gold prices remained elevated – hitting new records in some markets due to currency moves,” the report said.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)