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Global Gold Demand Reflects Challenging Global Economic Climate: ETFs up 56% and India up 9% in Q3 2012

LONDON, November 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Global gold demand in Q3 2012 was 1,084.6 tonnes (t), down 11% from the record Q3 2011 figure of 1,223.5t.   This dip in demand is in comparison with exceptional demand in Q3 last year. Gold demand remains resilient. Q3 2012 was above the five year quarterly average of 984.7t, according to the World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends Report.

In value terms gold demand was 14.0% lower year on year at $57.6bn and the average gold price of $1,652/oz was down 3% on the record average Q3 2011 price.

The key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Global investment in ETFs over the quarter was up significantly by 56% on the previous year.
  • The Indian market is showing signs of recovery, up 9% to 223.1t from 204.8t in Q3 2011 following increases in both jewellery and investment demand. In comparison with Q3 2011 jewellery demand was up 7% to 136.1t and investment demand rose by 12% to 87.0t. Investors moved into the imitation coin market*, up 59%, whilst jewellery increased due to re-stocking ahead of the Indian wedding and festival season. Indians appear to have acclimatised to recent price trends and have been buying into a rising market.
  • In China demand fell 8% to 176.8t in Q3 2012 from 191.2t in Q3 2011 due to falls in jewellery of 6% and investment of 12% mainly as a result of negative sentiment surrounding China's slowing economy.  Jewellery demand was 123.8t in Q3 2012, due to a decline in purchases of 18k pieces and a notable slowdown in the expansion of the retail network, as stock-building reduced. Investment demand was down to 53.0t Demand this quarter remains 19% above the longer term average.
  • Central banks bought 97.6t in the quarter. In six out of the last seven quarters, central bank demand has been around 100t, which is a sharp increase from as recently as 2010. The year to date figure for central bank buying is up 9%.

 Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the World Gold Council said:

"Gold is beginning to re-establish itself as part of the fabric of the financial system. In the medium term, the quantitative easing initiatives in the West and the continuing growth story in the East, particularly in India and China, coupled with the seasonally strong quarter coming up in Asia, are excellent indicators for further growth in the gold market.

"Against a backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty and elections in China and the US, 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% and continued purchasing by central banks, the ultimate long term investors."

Gold demand and supply statistics for Q3 2012:

  • Third quarter gold demand of 1,084.6t was down 11.0% in comparison to Q3 2011.
  • The value measure of gold demand was 14.0% lower year on year at $57.6bn.
  • The average gold price of $1,652/oz was down 3% on the record average Q3 2011 price.
  • Investment demand (the sum of ETFs and total bar and coin demand) was 429.9t, down 16% compared to the same quarter last year, but was 23% above the five year average.
  • Demand for ETFs and similar products in Q3 was up by 56.0% on the previous year to 136.0t.
  • Demand in the jewellery sector was down 2.0% to 448.8t compared to 458.0t in the same quarter in 2011. The ongoing slowdown in China continued to dampen demand in the second largest regional jewellery market
  • Third quarter demand for gold in the technology sector was down on Q3 2011 by 6.0% at 108.0t though remains stable. Use of gold in electronics has shown a steady level of incremental growth since Q4 2011, driven by demand for tablet devices and mobile phones among others.
  • Both the supply of gold and recycling were down 2% in the third quarter compared to year earlier levels, with mine production down 1% for Q3 2012.

The Q3 2012 Gold Demand Trends report, which includes comprehensive data provided by Thomson Reuters GFMS, can be viewed at: http://www.gold.org/media and on our new iPad app which can be downloaded from http://www.itunes.com and a video can be seen here.

Note to editors:

*Imitation coin market in India

In India an imitation coin is the term used to describe a round medallion bought for savings or gift purposes. These coins are generally rectangular, oval or round shapes and more than 50% are expected to be exchanged for jewellery over time. Demand tends to be seasonal, sold mainly during the marriage seasons and at festivals, especially at the time of Diwali.

World Gold Council

The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. Working within the investment, jewellery and technology sectors, as well as engaging in government affairs, our purpose is to provide industry leadership, whilst stimulating and sustaining demand for gold.

We develop gold-backed solutions, services and markets, based on true market insight. As a result, we create structural shifts in demand for gold across key market sectors.

We provide insights into the international gold markets, helping people to better understand the wealth preservation qualities of gold and its role in meeting the social and environmental needs of society.

Based in the UK, with operations in India, the Far East, Europe and the US, the World Gold Council is an association whose members include the world's leading and most forward thinking gold mining companies.

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