* Gold consumption down 12.9% at 1,002.8 T in 2019 – association
* Sales of jewellery, gold bar and coins fall sharply
* Gold production down 5.2% at 380.2 T as resources deplete (Adds comments from analyst, China GDP data)
BEIJING, Jan 21 (Reuters) – China’s gold consumption fell for the first time in three years in 2019, figures released by its industry association showed on Tuesday, as high prices and an economic slowdown hit buying in the world’s biggest market for the metal.
China consumed 1,002.8 tonnes of gold in 2019, down 12.9% year-on-year, the China Gold Association said in a statement on its website.
The drop was due to downward pressure on the Chinese economy and rising prices for the metal in the second half of