Vietnam tops Southeast Asia in gold sales growth

By Dat Nguyen   February 2, 2023 | 03:41 pm PT
Vietnam tops Southeast Asia in gold sales growth
A person tries out gold jewelry at a shop in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Tung
Gold sales rose by 37% last year to 59.1 tons, the fastest increase in Southeast Asia, the World Gold Council reported.

Jewelry demand rose by 51% to 18 tons, the highest growth in 14 years, it said.

Andrew Naylor, managing Asia-Pacific director (excluding China) of WGC, said there were many factors behind this strong growth, including a slight drop in prices in the fourth quarter, earnings of some industries rebounding to previous levels, and consumers’ strengthened confidence in the economy.

Jewelry companies’ reports corroborate WGC’s statistics.

Phu Nhuan Jewelry said revenues went up by 73% last year to VND33.88 trillion ($1.44 billion), driven by the strong economic recovery.

Global gold demand rose nearly 18% to 4,741 tons, the highest since 2011.

"[This was] driven in part by colossal central bank demand for the safe haven asset," WGC senior markets analyst Louise Street said.

Gold's diverse demand drivers balanced out as rising interest rates prompted some tactical exchange traded fund outflows, while elevated inflation spurred on gold bar and coin investment, she said.

In 2023 economic forecasts are pointing to a challenging environment and a likely global recession which could lead to a reversal in gold investment trends, she warned.

"We will likely see jewelry consumption remain resilient, bolstered by the release of pent-up demand as China reopens, but possibly dragged down by the squeeze on consumer spending if there is a more severe downturn."

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