May 2, 2011

Sharp rise in gold prices in Yangon and Mandalay

GOLD prices in Yangon and Mandalay have risen quickly in the past fortnight in line with international increases, said traders, adding that they will climb further in coming weeks.

On April 22, 1 tical (0.576 ounces) of gold was selling for K676,000 in Yangon, up from about K669,000 on April 11, said U Zaw Aung, the owner of Teit Sein jewellery shop in Yangon’s Latha township.

He added that the international price in that period had risen from US$1474 an ounce to a record high of $1505.

“The domestic gold price has risen in the past fortnight but not as much as the international price – if it rose by the same percentage the price of 1 tical would be higher than K680,000,” he said.

U Zaw Aung added that despite the higher prices, demand for gold was level, while his shop’s jewellery sales were 20 percent lower compared to early April levels.

Several gold traders in Yangon contacted by The Myanmar Times said they expect prices to climb past K700,000 a tical and might eventually approach K800,000.

U Aung, the owner of Aung Thamardi gold shops in Mandalay and Yangon, said while prices have increased since early April, they are still below the February 16 high of K682,500.

“At the same time, I believe domestic gold production this year to date is 50pc higher than last year,” he said.

“People were watching the political situation before the end of March and bought gold as security but after the smooth transition to a new government, many of those people are selling their gold back onto the market,” said U Zaw Aung.

Source: Myanmar Times