The TEN PER CENT plunge in bullion prices over the last week has prompted a surge in demand to buy physical gold by private households worldwide.
The gold buying started in Dubai on Saturday, according to dealers quoted by Reuters. As international prices then continued to fall sharply on Monday, footfall to leading gold jewelry stores in Chennai, India doubled the newswire reports. Sales volumes rose 60-70% at one of Beijing’s major retailers.
By Friday, gold bars were sold out in the Chinese capital, says the Xinhua website.
"No gold bars are available," the news agency quotes a sign at the Caishikou Department Store, in downtown Beijing.
"Customers who have paid can pick up their bars in one week."
Retail bullion stores in the UK have also introduced delivery delays for internet purchases. The largest US coin retailers are also struggling to meet demand to buy gold and silver according to private reports.
Monday and Tuesday saw the heaviest traffic to Bullionvault.com – the world’s #1 provider of physical bullion ownership to private individuals online – since Sept. 2011, when the gold price reached a peak above $1900 per ounce. Account openings, with new customers depositing money to buy ready-vaulted gold and silver instantly online, this week hit their strongest level since December 2011.
"The surge in gold purchases is spanning markets from India and China to the US, Japan and Europe," says a comment from the World Gold Council market development organization.
"Buyers are viewing this as an opportunity to purchase gold at prices not seen in the past couple of years."