China’s gold consumption fell 18.13 percent year-on-year to 820.98 tons in 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which hit sales of gold jewelry, figures released by the China Gold Association revealed on Monday.

Consumption of gold jewelry in the Chinese market reached 490.58 tons last year, plunging 27.45 percent year-on-year, while consumption of gold coins and bars went up 9.21 percent year-on-year during the same period to 246.59 tons, the association said. Consumption of gold for industrial and other uses fell 16.81 percent from a year earlier to 83.81 tons.

However, China’s gold consumption has gradually picked up, thanks to the country’s effective epidemic control and economic recovery, after recording a 48.2 percent slump in the first quarter of 2020, it said.

The country’s gold output came in at 365.34 tons last year, down 3.91 percent year-on-year, it said.