Scrap Imports Boost Dubai Gold Trade by 53pc

DUBAI - Driven by a significant inflow of scrap gold, the total yellow metal trade through Dubai reached a record $29 billion in 2008, up 53 per cent compared to the $19 billion in the previous year, according to Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

By Issac John

Published: Wed 11 Feb 2009, 12:10 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:54 AM

Dubai’s gold imports rose 21 per cent to reach 674 tonnes in 2008 compared to 559 tonnes in 2007 while exports rose 29 per cent to 371 tonnes compared to 287 tonnes in the previous year. India ranks as Dubai’s top export partner while the UK leads list of importers, a statement from the DMCC said.

“Gold prices surged to an all-time record high during the first quarter of 2008 leading to a significant inflow of gold scrap into Dubai for refining. The subsequent slowdown in prices during the last quarter of the year led to a major increase in bullion imports into Dubai, showing that the emirate has become a market for all seasons,” said Dr. David Rutledge, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC.

The upbeat trade figures were announced amid reports of prolonged sales slump for Dubai’s gold jewellery trade. With gold prices hovering above $900 per ounce, the jewellery trade has been posting a drop of up to 75 per cent over the past couple of months.

According to Lama Al Saheb, Head of Marketing, World Gold Council, Middle East, gold jewellery demand in the UAE dropped from 99.8 tonnes in 2007 to 93.3 tones last year although there had been a 32 per cent increase in investment demand of gold —from 7.5 tonnes in 2007 to 9.9 tonnes.

DMCC data shows that the total value of the gold traded through Dubai in the second half of 2008 reached $15.99 billion, up 57 per cent compared to $10.16 billion during the corresponding period in 2007 and up 22 per cent compared to $13.07 billion in the first six months of 2008. “This upward movement clearly shows Dubai’s resilience and adaptability to global trends,” said Dr. Rutledge.

“The figures for 2008, demonstrate the emirate’s increasingly important role as a centre for the regional and global gold trade,” he added. “Despite expected extremely challenging international financial conditions this year, Dubai remains well positioned to sustain its performance. Individuals, regional governments and investment funds have historically demonstrated a strong appetite for gold as a safe haven during periods of instability. We anticipate that imports into Dubai, destined for refining and re-export, will continue to perform solidly in 2009, while export levels will also be healthy, driven by investment-led demand in major consuming markets such as India.”

Dubai imported gold from more than 100 countries in 2008 and exported to 64 nations. India and Switzerland topped the list of export partners.

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