High Price of Gold Imperils Jewelry Industry in Bangladesh
|Release time:2013-02-28 Source:admin Reads:|
Like many women in South Asian and Middle Eastern countries, gold is the most favorite choice of Bangladeshi women when it comes to jewelry. It used to be that a Bangladeshi woman does not feel complete when she has no gold jewelry either brand name or traditionally made ones.
But nowadays Bangladeshi women no longer opt for pieces of jewelry made of gold since the price of gold has gone up considerably. Now they just settle for metal-made or clay-made body adornments set with unique designed jewelry cards.
Industry sources are saying that due to an unprecedented price hike, the demand for gold jewelry in Bangladesh has declined and some gold merchants have been forced to close shop. They say that the price of gold in the country has gone up along with that in the international market as soaring inflation in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world, volatility in global foreign exchange market, weakening US dollar and oil and commodity price hike led more and more investors to trade in gold rather than in other commodities.
Industry insiders claim that sales of gold jewelry have slumped by about 50 percent in recent times as the demand for ornament has declined in line with the soaring prices of the precious metal. And customers prefer to other metal or clay-made adornments with delicate jewelry cards than gold for the price is much lower and relatively stable.
A decade ago the price of gold was 15,000 taka (about $187) per bhori (11.664 grams) but now the price has gone up to 60,000 taka (about $750) per bhori in local market, resulting in drastic drop in sales.
"We're now passing a crucial time as demand for gold jewelry dropped by about 50 percent," Dilip Roy, president of Bangladesh Jewelers' Samity (association), told Xinhua Sunday. "I've never seen such a grim situation in the past 20 years in my gold business," Roy said.
Against this backdrop, Roy said, more and more artisans are either changing their professions like dedicating to contrivejewelry cards or leaving Bangladesh in search of work in India, Dubai and Singapore.
Roy also stressed the need for a national gold policy, which is now on under-formulation stage, to help the jewelry business in coping up with present challenges and to make it a major export- oriented sector.