Retail sales of gold, silver and jewellery in China were up 7.8 percent in the first four months of the year, indicating further signs of improvement in the market.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed sales rose to RMB102.8 billion (around US$15 billion) from January to April compared to the same period a year ago. Retail sales in April alone also registered a year-on-year growth of 7.5 percent to RMB22.9 billion (about US$3.32 billion).
China’s jewellery industry started regaining its sparkle in December 2016 when sales recorded a 4.8 percent increase to RMB32.3 billion (about US$4.7 billion). Overall sales in 2016 registered a flat year-on-year growth to RMB299.6 billion (around US$43.68 billion), which indicated an improvement from a continuous drop in sales since the beginning of 2016.
The China Gold Association earlier said gold consumption in China remained strong in the first quarter of 2017, mainly attributed to high demand for gold jewellery during the Chinese New Year, the report explained.
Besides gold jewellery, gold bars recorded a significant year-on-year growth of 60.18 percent to 101.19 tonnes. Gold bars are increasingly becoming popular in China as a hedging tool, the report added.
A separate report by the World Gold Council (WGC), meanwhile, revealed that China’s gold jewellery industry remains “keen and determined” to adapt to challenges arising from macroeconomic uncertainties and changes in consumer preferences.
The 18-karat gold sector is also poised to grow even further, noted WGC. Manufacturers have responded by offering a wider array of designs that are more intricate and modern than “traditional” 24-karat gold jewellery.
A new 22-karat gold segment has also been introduced to cater to demand for new, innovative and trend-setting pieces. Some retailers have increasingly been specialising in bridal jewellery, revealed WGC.