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Gold sales go up as Thais sell jewelry to pay for routine expenses

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Thai Gold Store

With job losses and pay cuts brought on by the pandemic, many Thais are lining up to sell their gold to bring in some cash, like 22 year old Suvirat Namvicha, an office worker in Bangkok who had her overtime expenses cut. Survirat, who is also pregnant, says she needed to sell a gold necklace to pay for her medical bills.

“I need money to pay my bills, and selling gold is my best option. I may need to sell my last gold necklace after my baby is born. Looking ahead, I only see rising expenses with limited income.”

Gold exports surged this year. Thais have sold gold jewelry, bars and medallions to get some quick cash for basic expenses. Chief executive officer of Thailand’s top gold grader YLG Bullion International, Pawan Nawawattanasub, says “Gold is easier to sell than land or condominiums.”

“Thai people still have high stockpiles of gold, as the nation has been more of a net importer than exporter in the past.”

From January to October, gold exports spiked to 237.4 metric tonnes, significant increase compared to the 170 tonnes exported in 2019. The trend is expected to continue into 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic puts a strain on tourism and manufacturing industries.

As more gold is shipped out, Thailand’s current-account surplus grows, appreciating the Thai baht which could negatively impact the country’s economic recovery.

To limit currency fluctuation, the Bank of Thailand is encouraging more gold trading using foreign-currency deposits. The Bangkok Bank and gold market place Hua Seng Heng plan to start a programme this month.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    The resale value of gold necklaces must be great, considering so many office workers are buying them here in asia.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Sums up the stupidity of Thai’s, gold.
    An asset that doesn’t pay a coupon, rent or dividend. It either goes up or down, with no income paid either way.
    The cars, motorbikes, houses and mobile phones on monthly tick. A highly indebted culture, ready to fall like a deck of cards.
    Highest percentage of wealth concentrated on a few, in all asian countries.
    The usual farang baffoons on here defend them.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      farang buffon will tell you, that europe and usa will fall long before thailande, your statement show that you don’t get how this kingdom works, the rest of the world is highly in dept as well and the 1 % own most of the money as well, BUT they are not a kingdom, the mentality is very different, they will have crisis but never fall (like you wish), just see one clue, thailand NEVER need to get involve in war like the so called rich country…

      • Avatar

        Mr cynic

        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:20 pm

        thailand has had many wars with its neighbours over the centuries that are well documented in both thai and english language script.
        The emerald buddah in the grand palace is a fine example of spoils of war in the past.
        the political boundaries of thailand/siam have changed numerous times over the centuries.
        At one time time not that long ago the land area now known as singapore and malaysia was controlled by the rulers of siam.
        ever crossed your mind why there are numerous former capital city’s about the place.

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:49 pm

          yes, but i was talking about Thailand, not Siam, witch didn’t have a centered power, so their was conflicts with the neighbours over unclears borders mostly because of french/english /russian colonizing the neighbours, but since 1941, the country known as Thailand never being involved in a war, with another country, nor colonise another country. my statement is right, yours is just another topic, is like talking about Gaule instead of France or Ottoman empire instead of Turquie.

      • Avatar

        Alte Ledertasche

        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:25 pm

        Keep on dreaming…by the way I heard that your King is on the way to Germany again

    • Avatar

      The Thaiger

      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Would you back the economy in Thailand or Nottingham at the moment?

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:29 pm

        The UK has a furlough scheme. 80% of wages paid by the government.
        This runs until April. One of the most generous schemes in the world.
        Thailand has given a few handouts of 3000 baht, approximately £80.
        Now i won’t embarrass the questioner with giving the answer.
        Your pandemic hasn’t started in Thailand yet.
        Some local GPs in the UK have started receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, in lieu of it being approved and vaccinations rolled out.
        Now where would you rather be if you had a business Thailand or Nottingham?
        Where would you rather be if you wanted to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus?
        Which health care system will cope better in a crisis, the UK or Thailand?
        Which health care system is free at point of entry, UK or Thailand?
        I trust your from Nottingham, within weeks you might wish you had never left.

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:53 pm

          English food is the most disgusting in the world, so i’d rather be in Thailand !!
          English weather is uter shite, i’d rather enjoy 28 degrees all year long !

          • Avatar


            Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 10:03 am

            As for Food; I read, because the economi is on the ground and the Thais are not supported, that most feet on grillet cockroaches and grashoppers. Of courrse, it´s matter of taste….

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 10:55 pm

        Tough call, but at least if you live in Nottingham, you can go to work in Derby.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      Peter what an idiot you are, besides your idiotic xenophobia you really don’t know what you are talking about, gold is a great investment,you’d better go back to your bar stool now.

  3. Avatar

    James Pate

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    People usually invest in things they can understand. I’m not a fan of derivatives, unsecured debentures, cryptocurrency or, art. I stick with equities and ETFs. For someone who doesn’t understand these, gold may make sense. Whether it goes up or down, it will always have intrinsic value. Not defending anyone.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      Apologies for the illiterate half wit who tried to argue that this third world dictatorship bares a resemblance to liberal democracies that have brought freedom, wealth and liberty to the world.
      What has Thailand ever done other than rent out their daughters and sons to visiting foreigners.
      How do you think Pauper John and Mrs Stretch meet their Thai wives?

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm

        narrow minded, racist, and full of yourself you are, it is the curse of westerners and the cause of so much suffer of this world, hope life teach you respect and common sense, your so called democracy are involved in colonisation and war, europe in africa, usa in south america, thailand, never colonised or get in war with anyone, stop thinking you are so superior you are just a little sad angry man who probably never call a thai person his friend.

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 5:31 pm

          Don’t mind Peter, people are acting out of Character when they post comments. He isn’t thinking, just acting superior.

          • Avatar


            Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:58 pm

            “What has Thailand ever done other than rent out their daughters and sons to visiting foreigners”

            who in his right mind can make such a statement ! it’s so disrespectful for millions of thai families who just want the best for their kids, and condescending for those who end up choosing prostitution as a mean to survive, you guys make me want to vomit

        • Avatar

          Alte Ledertasche

          Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 7:04 pm


          ….who probably never call a Thai person his friend. LOL. Is this important ?

          I personally would not even make business with a Thai as they simply not can be trusted and I avoid Thai people as much as possible. Why I would need his or her friendship than ?

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 11:07 pm

          The French and the British did not want Thailand. There was nothing there that they wanted and they needed a buffer between France and Britain.
          Even the Japanese did not want Thailand.
          They wanted a staging post to go after Malaya and Burma.
          Thailand sided with the Japanese until they saw the way the wind was blowing, and then they sided with the allies, but true to their devious lying nature they did this in secret.
          At the end of the war they had to give back to the Burma some lands that they took under the protection of their Japanese masters.
          They also had to supply the USA for several years with under priced rice.
          It is all on the internet just search.
          Thailand has nothing to be proud of.

          • Avatar

            Alte Ledertasche

            Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 7:51 am


      • Avatar


        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 5:59 pm

        That western so called freedom idea of yours has always been an illusion and you clearly have been to brainwashed to understand, but it does become more clear now for alot of people now with this virus

        The main reason for me and many of my friends here or random people I met all over Thailand in over a decade that made the decision to leave it all in the west to actually experience what it is to have a real sense of freedom, till recently like everything there else of course. Although Thailand is as corrupt as can be and it has many flaws in overall but I never have felt more free here then ever before I left Amsterdam in 2010.

        And it is shameful indeed that many Asian parents would rent out there babies to disgusting people like child predators for money but don’t even think that doesn’t happen in the west chief because the most nasty individuals out there are from the west and always have been

      • Avatar

        Mister Stretch

        Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 7:56 am

        I find your assumption highly disgusting, repulsive and insulting.

        My wife is an accountant, you effin’ dweeb.

        Go eff yourself, Peter.

        You are a disgusting shit.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    First they sell their gold, then they sell their motor bikes, Then their TVs . . .
    And buy a straw hats and bicycles to go to work in the rice fields.
    Tragic, but they deserve it. They lost their ferang tourists. They lost their ferang investors.
    They lost the trust foreigners had for them, and killed the golden geese

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:16 pm

      Since when THEY need ferang investors to survive? Tragic is the death number brought by Covid. Aparrently, Thai is the the leader in this rice field.

      • Avatar

        Alte Ledertasche

        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:32 pm

        They need foreign investors a d the tourist dollars, maybe not to survive – eating rice all day and sitting under a straw hut will be enough for survival I guess – but to develop the country and its infrastructure.

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Peter is the kind of foreigner that came here probably a decade or more ago with good money and ended up with nothing and sitting around all day now drinking beer in a stained dirty Singha tank top like a lazy fat slob complaining about everything and everybody and isn’t able to figure out that he’s the problem

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      Unfortunately not for your narrative. Peter owns property in the UK and enjoys visiting Thailand.
      He has travelled around Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bali, Hong Kong and Singapore.
      He spent nearly 6 months in Thailand last year including a visit to the rocket festival in Roi Et, Isaan.
      Peter loves Thailand but does not like expats jeering and mocking those that thought they were safe in Thailand and laughing at those stuck outside.
      Peter will make sure his UK assets generate a passive income for years to come hopefully.
      Peter will not be selling his UK assets to burn his bridges and be stuck in Thailand at the mercy of a fluctuating exchange rate and inflation.
      What about you?

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        peter say : “What has Thailand ever done other than rent out their daughters and sons to visiting foreigners”

        you so full of hate poor little angry man

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 7:52 pm

        Peter do I detect a note of jealousy about the fact that we are in Thailand and you are not? Well I wouldn’t want to be in England at the moment either, it’s now often being described as being the sick man of Europe, the Brexit idiots have had their way. And there is no need to attack Thailand like that, it makes you sound like a scumbag.

  6. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Murika calm down.
    I have a Thai girlfriend in Roi Et, so i don’t wish you or any Thai’s ill will.
    Today is a very bright cold spring like day in my part of the UK.
    Thailand’s climate, especially March or April, can be overpoweringly hot and humid.
    There can be a lot of rainfall, especially in September and October.
    I thinks it’s better to enjoy the best of both worlds.
    The UK will always be home but i miss Thailand terribly.
    Happy New Year to you, keep safe and stop taking things so seriously.

  7. Avatar

    James Pate

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 6:22 am

    Wow! This went off topic in a bad way. The article was about selling gold. Happy New Year 2564!

  8. Avatar


    Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 3:25 am

    They must be selling the gold to go on all these lovely discount holidays not to buy food to buy food to feed thier starving families and pay bills

  9. Avatar


    Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 11:07 am

    The sentiment of a Mexican street hawker summed up the pandemic well: “If I don’t die of COVID, I’ll die of starvation.”

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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