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Azerbaijani Jewelers Say High Gold Prices Hurting Business


One Azerbaijani gold trader says her sales have decreased by 75-80 percent .

One Azerbaijani gold trader says her sales have decreased by 75-80 percent .

BAKU -- Gold jewelry sellers in Baku say the high international price for gold is causing Azerbaijanis to buy less and hurting their businesses, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Zulfi Musayev, a trader in a Baku shopping center, told RFE/RL he closely followed gold-related news and every minor fluctuation in the world price, for the precious metal affected the Azerbaijani market.

"I was following the gold exchange one day [on the Internet] when an ounce of gold was rising...and it made a $60 difference in one day [on the local market]," he said.

Gold trader Konul Bayramova said that the sharp rise in the price of gold had driven sales down. "My sales have decreased by about 75-80 percent," she said. "We were selling $30,000 worth of gold products a month before [the price rise], now we are selling $6,000-$7,000 worth [per month]."

Economist Samir Aliyev told RFE/RL that Azerbaijan's gold market fluctuated with world markets, as it was dependent on imports.

"Azerbaijan produces inconsequential amounts of gold, therefore it has no influence on the local market," he said. "The gold prices will continue to rise in world markets and this tendency will be felt in local markets as well."

An ounce of gold currently costs approximately $1,606, according to the Azerbaijani National Bank. In January an ounce cost about $1,320.

Read more in Azeri here
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