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Sun 7 Mar 2010 01:40 PM

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Dubai gold imports slump by 15% in 2009

Commodities Centre Authority says gold trade through the emirate is worth $29bn.

Dubai gold imports slump by 15% in 2009

The value of gold brought into Dubai in 2009 sank by fifteen percent last year, although the total trade in the precious metal was worth $29bn, the same as 2008, a local agency has announced.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA) revealed that 576 tonnes had been brought into the emirate in 2008, and that gold exports from Dubai at increased by nine percent to 403 tonnes.

“Given the tough economic conditions and the resulting impact on the gold trade globally, Dubai’s US$29 billion gold trade is impressive, said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the DMCCA.

“The past year witnessed a period of high price volatility with all time record-high prices. Despite these factors, Dubai sustained the all-time high value of gold trade.”

Last year, gold prices broke the record-high level of US$1,200 per ounce before averaging to US$973 per ounce.

India remains Dubai’s top gold-trading partner, although 130 countries also imported gold into the emirate in 2009.

The DMCCA announcement comes shortly after the World Gold Council's announcement that the UAE had seen one of the demand for the precious metal slump by 32 percent in the last quarter of 2009, one of the worst figures in the Middle East region.

"Jewellery sales in the UAE and Dubai in particular are continuing to suffer under the pressure of future expatriates (in particular Indian workers), the economic downturn and problems in the property sector," the council's report said.

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