Gold prices have surged by over 20% this year. But even that spectacular rise has not been enough to fuel Indian and Chinese appetites for gold jewellery.
The falls are spectacular enough to wonder if the fascination for gold jewellery is finally waning in these two countries.
The recent Thomson Reuters Gold Survey has highlighted the shocking fall in stark detail.
The year has seen demand for physical gold world over tumble by 24% to 781 tonnes, the lowest since the first quarter of 2009, according to the report.
Indian jewellery consumption, meanwhile, plummeted by 56% year-on-year to 65 tonnes in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest in eight years.
Surging gold prices and a 43-day long jewellers' strike played their part, according to experts. The wedding season demand this summer and the upcoming Akshaya Tritiya festival are the key events jewellers are now pinning their hopes on.
China's jewellery demand too fell by a whopping 28% in the January to March quarter.
The Thomson Gold Survey was not optimistic about a rebound in gold demand in China, observing that gold demand there is expected to decline in 2016 overall as jewellery fabricators remains pessimistic towards consumption volumes.
But an alternate view was provided by experts speaking to London's Financial Times, who said that if prices continue to rise further and the Chinese economy struggles, then we might see more Chinese investors turning to gold.
"I think the potential for a major move into gold by Chinese investors at some point as and when domestic financial stresses become more real is extremely large," the expert quoted by Financial Times observed.
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