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Global Gold Demand -14% at $58B in 3Q

19 november 2012

The value of global gold demand fell 14 percent year on year to $57.61 billion in the third quarter of 2012 reflecting a challenging global economic climate, according to the World Gold Council (WGC), cited by Rapaport.
WGC published its quarterly ''Gold Demand Trends'' report on Thursday showing that demand by volume declined 11 percent to 1,084.6 tons during the period. The average price of gold was $1,652 per ounce during the quarter, down 3 percent from the average price achieved last year.
The report noted that global gold jewelry demand declined 5 percent to $23.84 billion as the volume of jewelry demand fell 2 percent to 448.8 tons. “The ongoing slowdown in China continued to dampen demand in the second largest regional jewelry market,” WGC explained.
Gold investment demand - including gold bars, coins and ETFs - decreased by 18 ‎percent to $22.83 billion, while volume fell 16 percent to 429.9 tons. Demand for exchange traded funds (ETFs) and similar products rose by 56 percent to 136.0 tons during the quarter. Demand for gold used in the technology and industrial sectors fell 9 percent to $5.75 billion while volume decreased by 6 percent to 108.2 tons.
WGC stated that jewelry demand from China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, fell 8 percent to $6.94 billion due to a decline in purchases of 18 karat pieces and a notable slowdown in the expansion of the retail network, as stock-building reduced. Investment demand in China declined 15 percent to $2.89 billion. The negative sentiment surrounding China's slowing economy impacted consumer sentiment and business.
However, the Indian market showed signs of recovery as both jewelry and investment demand increased during the quarter. The report noted that India’s jewelry demand rose 4 percent to $7.23 billion, while investment demand increased 8 percent to $4.62 billion. India remains the largest gold jewelry market.
WGC explained that the late revival of the monsoon and restocking by traders and jewelers ahead of the festive and wedding season could be the key reasons for the upward trend in demand during the quarter. Indian consumers also seem to have adjusted to the rise in gold price levels, it noted.
“After a slow start to the first half of 2012, the third quarter witnessed a gradual pick up in gold demand in India head of the festive and wedding season that falls in the fourth quarter,” said Marcus Grubb, the managing director of investment at WGC. “Against the backdrop of a slowing economy and persistent inflation, this upward trend encouraged by India’s socio-cultural affinity and gold’s significance as an effective store of wealth is likely to continue through the end of 2012.”
Central banks remained net purchasers of gold but to a lesser degree than in the third quarter of last year. Demand of 97.6 tons worth $5.2 billion accounted for 9 percent of overall gold demand during the period.
WGC explained that gold demand remains resilient as demand in the third quarter of 2012 was above the five year quarterly average of 984.7 tons. “Against a backdrop of ‎continued global economic uncertainty and elections in China and the U.S., it is clear ‎from five year rising demand trends that gold’s fundamental property as a vehicle for capital preservation continues to endure, as evidenced by this quarter’s increase in global ETF investment, up 56 percent and continued purchasing by central banks, the ultimate long term investors,” Grubb said.
Total gold supply during the quarter declined by 2 percent to 1,188.3 tons due to lower mine production and reduction in recycling activity, the report noted.