Gold consumption in the Middle East region dropped by seven percent, to 108.7 tons, in the third quarter of 2001, as compared to the same period the previous year, the World Gold Council (WGC) reported. However, the periodic decline did not entirely offset the positive results of the first half-year, and so overall demand for gold in the first three quarters of 2001 reached 391 tons, compared with 382.5 tons in the first three quarters of 2000.
"The negative effects of reduced tourism and pilgrimages in the wake of world events dominated over the positive results of steady oil prices and economic liberalization measures," the WGC asserted in its Quarterly Demand Trends survey.
Middle East gold offtake relates to jewelry, bar and coin demand in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Egypt. Offtake in Egypt for the third quarter of 2001 was steady at 31 tons, compared with 32.5 tons a year earlier, reported Al-Hayat.
In Saudi Arabia, gold offtake fell by eight percent in the third quarter to 45.5 tons compared with the corresponding period in 2000. Offtake in Bahrain and Kuwait fell 19 percent and 18 percent respectively during that period, while in Oman it was down four percent and in Qatar six percent. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) experienced a one percent increase in offtake, compared with third quarter 2000, reaching 17.5 tons.
The global demand for gold totaled 755 tons in the 3rd quarter of 2001, a seven percent drop compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The global demand for gold totaled 2,356 tons in the first three quarters of 2001, a two percent decrease compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )