Gold rush to become trickle this Chinese New Year as Thais cut spending
The Gold Traders Association (GTA) expects gold sales to rise by only 5% to 10% during the Chinese New Year festival this coming weekend.
Chinese New Year usually brings a gold rush in Thailand with consumers queueing at gold-shop counters seeking gifts for their loved ones.
However, this year Chinese-Thai people will prefer to buy smaller trinkets weighing one or two salung, rather than one-baht pieces, GTA vice-president Pichaya Phisuthikul said.
One salung is 3.81 grams, or one-quarter of a baht.
He added that many gold consumers were still watching their spending as they had not yet paid off debts built up during the Covid-19 crisis.
Many gold shops meanwhile have reopened after their business was severely hit during the Covid-19 crisis, Pichaya said. However, some were still suffering staff shortages and many operators were unable to pay bonuses.
"It will take some time until businesses recover,” he said.
He advised investors to buy gold when the price drops to between 28,000 and 28,500 baht per baht-weight, and sell when the price approaches 30,000.
He also warned investors to be cautious when using gold-saving services as they risked becoming victims of criminals aiming to steal their cash.
Worachai Tangsitpakdee, director of the Chin Hua Heng chain of gold shops, also expects gold sales to rise over Chinese New Year, which falls on Sunday, January 22.
However, he expects Chinese-Thais to prefer gold pendants or rings to large necklaces as people would be reluctant to spend big on gold amid the economic recovery.