May 23, 2024

Gold Expected To Continue Higher – World Gold Council Releases Q3 2012 Report

The third quarter 2012 Investment Statistics Commentary released today by the World Gold Council summarizes the performance of gold in various currencies and explores reasons why demand for gold should continue to increase.

Highlights of the Q3 2012 Report

During the third quarter, gold had a return of over 11% as central banks expanded measures to stimulate the economy.  The correlation of gold to other assets exhibited similar characteristics as those seen during the previous quarter.

Unconventional expansionary monetary policies were continued during the third quarter and are expected to increase going forward.  The primary goal of central bank policies include lowering borrowing costs and re inflating asset prices.

While financial assets have surged based on central bank monetary measures, gold has exhibited the strongest correlation to quantitative easing.

The World Gold Council expects investment demand for gold will remain strong based on the following four factors:

– Inflation risk
– Medium-term tail-risk from imbalances
– Currency debasement and uncertainty
– Low real rates and emerging market real rate differentials

The full report from the World Gold Council can be viewed at

Gold has made what appears to be a triple bottom over the past year in the $1,580 range.  A breakout above last year’s high of $1,900 could wind up signaling the next phase of the gold bull market.



Gold Demand Soars As Chinese Buying Surges To Record Levels

According to the World Gold Council, total global demand for gold in the first quarter of 2011 jumped by 11% to 981.3 tonnes.   Gold demand was driven by increased investor purchases, especially in China where surging demand for gold reached record highs.

The World Gold Council foresees increased 2011 gold demand based on fundamental factors that include unrest in the Middle East, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, global inflationary worries, weakness in the U.S. dollar, concern over a slowing U.S. economy and continued strong physical demand for gold by China and India.  Increased purchases of gold by central banks is also likely to increase to protect reserves against paper currencies issued by over indebted sovereign nations.

The World Gold Council noted that gold hit its eight consecutive record high price during the first quarter of 2011 after a brief pullback in prices early in the year.   Due to higher prices the value of gold purchased during the first quarter rose by almost 40% from $31.4 billion to $43.7 billion.

Investment demand surged by 26% during the first quarter to 310.5 tonnes and represented 31.6% of total first quarter gold demand.  The investment demand category includes physical bars, official coins, medals and ETF products.  Investors showed a strong preference for holding physical gold as bar demand increased by 62%, official bullion coins by 39% and medals by 3%.  Bullion holdings by ETFs declined by 55.9 tonnes during the quarter as investors decided to hold more physical gold due to worries about counterparty and credit risk.  Despite the reduction in first quarter ETF holdings, total global holdings of ETFs amount to 2,100 tonnes valued at approximately $95 billion.

Jewelry demand of 556.9 tonnes accounted for 56.8% of total gold demand during the first quarter.  Total jewelry demand grew by 7% during the first quarter with India and China accounting for 63% of total demand.  China, which has seen explosive demand for gold over the past decade, registered a 21% increase in jewelry sales to 142.9 tonnes.

Technology demand for gold, which includes electronics, industrial and dental use declined slightly to 113.8 tonnes.  Gold demand by the electronics industry remains strong and during 2010, the industry consumed a record 326.8 tonnes.

Despite the surging global demand for gold, supply is not increasing and actually dropped by 39.9 tonnes or 4.4% during the 2011 first quarter compared to last year’s first quarter.  The decline was primarily due to large central bank purchases which the World Gold Council deducts from available supplies.  Central Banks have been rapidly increasing their purchases of gold reserves and during the 2011 first quarter purchased 129 tonnes of gold  which exceeded the total amount purchased during the first nine months of 2010.

Surging gold prices should be a natural incentive for the mining industry to increase production but this has not been the case.  Mine production increased by only 7% to 663.9 tonnes during the first quarter, trailing total demand of 981.3 tonnes.  During 2010 gold mine production provided  62% of total supply with recycled gold accounting for the bulk of other supply.

The big picture in the gold market remains focused on China.  The World Gold Council report notes that “The past 10 years have witnessed exponential growth in China investment demand for gold, which entered a new era with the opening of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.   By the end of 2010, annual gold demand totalled 187.4 tonnes, an increase of 71.1% over the previous year.”

Chinese gold demand has been increasing by 14% per year since 2001 with jewelry accounted for 64% of total demand.  During 2010 gold jewelry demand in China was 451.8 tonnes, up 100% since 2004.  Chinese gold investors are also huge buyers and in the first quarter of this year were the largest buyers in the world of physical bullion coins and bars.

The World Gold Council expects Chinese gold demand to double within less than ten years due to gold demand based on Chinese culture, inflationary fears, buying by the Chinese Central Bank, a desire to diversify wealth holdings, advise from prominent Chinese economists to increase gold reserves, increased institutional demand and increased demand by a growing middle class.

Courtesy World Gold Council


2010 Third Quarter Gold Demand

Total identifiable gold demand for the third quarter showed an increase of 12% above year ago levels at 921.8 tonnes. Increases in demand from jewelry consumption, industrial sectors, and net retail investment more than offset a decline in demand from electronically traded funds, according to information published by the World Gold Council.

Compared to the 2010 second quarter, gold demand showed a decline of 10%. This was the result of the exceptionally high levels of investment demand experienced in the previous quarter.

During the third quarter, jewelery demand totaled 529.8 tonnes, representing an increase of 8% from the year ago period. Buyers in key markets such as Indian, China, Russia, and Hong Kong were not deterred by record high prices. The highest growth in demand was experienced in India, with an increase of 36%. With the recent focus of the media on gold investors, it’s interesting to note that more than half of identifiable gold demand comes from the jewelry sector.

Industrial demand for gold was 110.2 tonnes, marking an increase of 13% from the year ago period. Demand was led by electronics, which accounted for 77.9 tonnes and measured a gain of 18%. A decline in demand was experienced from the dentistry sector, with a drop of 7% to 12.2 tonnes.

Identifiable investment demand was up 19% from the year ago period at 281.8 tonnes. However, this did represent a decline of 16% from the previous quarter. The largest increase in demand for this category came from bar hoarding, which increased 44% to 132.4 tonnes. This is an interesting contrast to demand from ETFs which dropped 7% to 38.7 tonnes.

The average price of gold during the quarter was $1,226.75, ranging from a low of $1,157.00 to a high of $1,307.50 per ounce.

Identifiable Gold Demand (Source:GFMS)

2010 Second Quarter Gold Demand

Not surprisingly, gold demand for the second quarter of 2010 was up significantly compared to the year ago period, according to the recently released Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council.

Total identifiable gold demand for the quarter was 1,050.3 tonnes. This represents an increase of 36% over the level for the year ago period and an increase of more than 38% over the level for the first quarter of 2010. Demand was led by increases in identifiable investment (+118%) and industrial demand (+14%), which more than offset a small decrease in jewelry demand (-5%).

Behind the increase in investment demand were the concerns about sovereign debt of European countries. This sparked strong demand in German speaking countries, with demand in Germany increasing by 59% year over year. The U.S. was another source of strong demand with an increase of 32% year over year.

The average gold price for the second quarter was $1,196.74 per ounce, or 30% above the average for the year ago period. During the quarter, gold also reached a fresh all time high in dollar terms when it reached $1,261.00 per ounce on June 28, 2010.

The World Gold Council continues to expect robust demand for gold throughout the remainder of 2010, citing growth in demand from India and China, and increasing global investment demand driven by uncertainty about public debt and the economic recovery.