Jewellery store in China
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China’s jewellery sales continued their downward trend in October, representing four straight months of declining demand, latest government data revealed.
Figures from the National Statistics Bureau of China showed retail sales of jewellery, gold and silver were down 4.5 percent in October compared to the same period last year. January to October sales meanwhile showed a 0.1 percent uptick.
Jewellery sales fell 6.6 percent in September, 7 percent in August and 1.6 percent in July. Sales in this category were up 7.8 percent in June and 3.5 percent in the first half of the year, the statistics bureau said.
Demand for jewellery saw a hefty decline in the third quarter owing to high prices of gold as well as market uncertainties, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
In its Gold Demand Trends Q3 2019, WGC said gold jewellery demand dropped 16 percent to 460.9 tonnes as the quarterly average price of gold reached US$1,472.47, up 21 percent year on year.
Demand for gold jewellery in China slid 12 percent to 156.3 tonnes, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year declines. The figure is also 10 percent below the five-year quarterly average of 173.5 tonnes.
According to WGC, consumers spent their money elsewhere due to concerns over the Chinese economy as well as rising inflation in prices of staple goods.
Plain and mass-appeal 24-karat gold jewellery saw a double-digit fall, but retailers recorded growth in sales of 3D hard gold, 5G gold and other innovative products with lightweight and fashionable designs since these appeal to younger consumers.
“Talks with our trade partners in the industry indicate that lighter, more aesthetic products are growing in popularity – consequently, these products are expected to take a larger share of the market in the longer run,” continued WGC.
The council also highlighted the fading relevance of the golden week holiday as a shopping occasion over the years with consumers, especially the younger generation, preferring to spend their money on experiential purchases.