Customers choose gold jewelry at the Shanghai World Jewelry Expo in October. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING — China’s gold consumption fell 18.13 percent year-on-year to 820.98 tons last year as the COVID-19 outbreak hit sales of gold jewelry, industry data showed Monday.

Consumption of gold jewelry in the Chinese market stood at 490.58 metric tons in 2020, plunging 27.45 percent year-on-year, according to data released by the China Gold Association.

During the same period, consumption of gold coins and bars went up 9.21 percent year-on-year to 246.59 tons, while consumption of gold for industrial and other uses fell 16.81 percent from a year earlier to 83.81 tons.

After recording a 48.2-percent slump in the first quarter of 2020, China’s gold consumption has gradually picked up following effective epidemic control and economic recovery.

In 2020, China’s gold output came in at 365.34 tons, down 3.91 percent year-on-year.