Sales of gold jewelry in China are set to plummet this year as the economic damage from the deadly coronavirus crisis widens.
The death toll from the outbreak has topped 1,100 and shoppers are staying away from public places to avoid infection, while also limiting their spending to basic necessities such as groceries. Jewelry retailers such as Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd. are shortening business hours and managing time off for employees in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading.
“People are not in the mood to shop for jewelry,” said Zhang Yongtao, chief executive officer of the China Gold Association. “Stores and shopping malls are closed because of the virus,” he said, adding that sales of gold jewelry and bars will drop substantially this year.
Metals Focus, a London-based research firm, sees a 6% drop in sales in China this year, extending an estimated 7% drop in 2019 to a seven-year low. It said the decline could turn out to be “particularly acute” given the Lunar New Year has traditionally been the busiest period.
The crisis comes at a time when physical demand is already suffering in China and India, the world’s largest gold consumers, due to rising prices and slower economic growth.
Read more about how the Coronavirus is impacting the demand for gold jewelry in China on the Yahoo! Finance website HERE