Market figures show Iran’s demand for gold rose to a four-year high in the first quarter in what is believed to have been a result of the improvement in the country’s economy.
Bloomberg said in a report that Iran’s demand for the precious metal in the first three months this year rose by 27 percent from a year earlier to 12.9 metric tons.
The report quoted a statement by the World Gold Council that Iran’s gold bar and coin demand was 3.7 tons, stressing that the figure was the highest for the region. The country’s sales of gold, it added, stood at 0.3 ton.
“Demand across the rest of the region remained weak in the face of low oil prices and subdued tourist numbers, the impact of which was exaggerated by rising gold prices,” the World Gold Council said in its statement.
Gold advanced 8.9 percent in the first quarter from the end of December, as investors snapped up the precious metal amid political discord in the US and Europe that halted gains in equity markets. Brent crude declined 7 percent over the same period amid a glut, Bloomberg added.
Total Middle East consumer demand, including bars, coins and jewelry, rose 5 percent to 64.5 tons, the highest since the third quarter of 2015, according to the report.
While Saudi Arabia was the biggest gold market in the Middle East last year, the United Arab Emirates showed the most usage in the first quarter at 17.2 tons, down 2 percent from a year earlier. In Saudi Arabia, the total dropped 13 percent to 14.2 tons while Egypt’s consumption declined 14 percent to 6.2 tons, the WGC added in its statement, as reported by Bloomberg.