Local prices for gold reached K1.278 million per tical (roughly 16.33 grammes) on September 4.
Despite the rising price, demand has doubled in recent days, said U Hla Ohn, the owner of Aung Thamardi Gold Shop on 29th Street in Yangon.
“Now people are jostling at our shop. There are not many transactions for gold jewellery, but people are jostling to buy pure gold due to uncertainty over the stability of banks. My shop is now selling about 2 viss (about 3.26 kilogrammes) of pure gold a day now, up from the usual 1 viss before. Demand for pure gold was good before, but it sharply increased this week,” U Hla Ohn said.
U Myo Myint, chair of the Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association, said the association has issued rules for its members to follow, in order to stabilise gold prices. According to the association, members are now required to “deal only in cash transactions, not participate in futures contracts, and not undertake actions that may hurt the association’s reputation”.
“Demand for pure gold is increasing at gold shops in each township, because people are worried about the economy and the stability of banks. In my experience, gold prices will return to normal in about two weeks,” said U Win Myint, the secretary of the Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association.
A scarcity of gold is also a factor in the rise in gold prices, people in the gold business.
“During the early rainy season, local gold panning camps are closed. As no licence renewals are allowed, gold supplies become rarer. It is not uncommon that gold prices are high towards the middle and the end of the monsoon season. It normally rises, but there are some additional factors this year and thus gold prices are seeing record-highs,” said U Win Myint.
The Ministry of Home Affairs contacted the Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association to inquire about the rising prices, he said.
In April, the price of gold was K 1.05 million a tical and has been gradually rising since.
Gold entrepreneurs said the reasons behind price hike include decreased trust in the US dollar due to the China-US trade war, tensions between the US and Iran and rising prices in the international gold market.