Gold is the gift of choice for many during the Chinese New Year period, with its price usually climbing during this time of year.
Consumer protection officials have been randomly inspecting gold shops to prevent the exploitation of consumers buying gold for the Lunar New Year.
Gold Traders Association President Jitti Tangsitpakdee said gold prices have risen slightly to about 28,750 baht per baht-weight, with the appreciation of the Thai baht currency helping to dampen the price creep.
He also said he believed consumers will still buy gold during the Chinese New Year period despite lowered purchasing power, but acknowledged that buyers may seek smaller items than usual. He added that there will be those who choose to purchase gold using funds originally saved for vacations abroad during the Lunar New Year, as international travel remains difficult.
Jitti said the price of gold is not likely to reach 30,000 baht this year, barring disruptive global developments such as a major war. He also explained that gold mining costs around the world were only around US$1,000-$1,200 an ounce.
The Office of the Consumer Protection Board said it inspected gold shops in the Bangkok Chinatown area on Jan. 21 and did not find irregularities or violations. The officials added that product labels were satisfactory and operations at the gold shops were in keeping with requirements.
Consumers can report instances of unfair gold prices by calling the OCPB hotline 1166 or visiting its website.