Gold shipments to Southeast Asia’s biggest consumer are forecast to contract by as much as half this year, a sign the unprecedented Asian demand that helped stem last year’s rout in prices is weakening.
Gold consumption in Vietnam, the largest Southeast Asian user after Thailand, will probably shrink by more than half this year after global prices fell, the currency stabilized and the government tightened rules.
Gold demand in China, which overtook India as the largest user last year, will rise about 25 percent in the next four years as an increasing population gets wealthier, according to the World Gold Council.
Gold demand in China, the second- largest user after India last year, may expand 13 percent to 870 metric tons in 2012, the World Gold Council said, dropping a forecast for consumption to reach as much as 1,000 tons.
Gold demand in China may surge as much as 30 percent this year as rising incomes boost consumption, helping the country topple India as the world’s largest bullion market on an annual basis, according to the World Gold Council.