The global gold demand in 2014 declined marginally by 4 per cent to 3,924 tonnes compared to the previous year even though 2013 was an outstanding year where the consumer demand had reached a record high, says the World Gold Council (WGC).
The overall gold demand stood at 4,087.6 tonnes in 2013, according to WGC ‘Gold Demand Trend 2014’ report.
“The year 2014 was a year of stabilisation and innovation in the gold market with annual gold demand down by just 4 per cent at 3,924 tonnes after the record-breaking level of buying seen in 2013.
It was a standout year for Indian jewellery despite government restrictions on gold imports, reinforcing the nation’s affinity with gold,” WGC Managing Director, Investment Strategy, Marcus Grubb said.
Meanwhile, Chinese gold demand returned to those last seen in 2011 and 2012 as consumers and investors took time to digest the substantial volumes accumulated in 2013, he said.
The WGC Gold Demand Trend 2014 further revealed that jewellery remained the biggest component of demand for gold.
Indian demand for jewellery was up 8 per cent to 662 tonne, the best year of jewellery demand since records began in 1995 and China’s jewellery demand, while down by 33 per cent, was still the second best on record, it said.
There was also strong jewellery demand in the UK and US, driven by improved economic performance, up 18 per cent to 28 tonne and 9 per cent to 132 tonnes, respectively.
However, overall jewellery demand fell by 10 per cent to 2,153 tonne as China digested the record breaking levels of jewellery accumulated in 2013.
“What’s particularly notable about 2014 is that the striking shift in physical gold demand from West to East is now being followed by gold infrastructure development in Asia.
“New products and trading platforms were introduced such as the Shanghai Gold Exchange International Board and the new kilo-bar contracts in Singapore and Hong Kong – all designed to make gold more accessible to greater numbers of buyers in the East,” Grubb added.
Annual central bank demand was up 17 per cent to 477 tonnes, the fifth consecutive year and 16th consecutive quarter when banks were net purchasers of gold, the report said.
Investment was up 2 per cent to 905 tonnes last year, despite a fall of 40 per cent in bar and coin investment to 1,064 tonnes as consumers who purchased in 2013 held back from further buying.
Electronic Traded Fund (ETF) outflows slowed significantly from 880 tonnes in 2013 to 159 tonnes in 2014.
Total supply in 2014 was virtually unchanged compared to 2013 at 4,278 tonnes.
Recycling contracted to a seven year low, down 11 per cent to 1,122 tonnes.
“This offset the increase in annual mine production, up 2 per cent to a record 3,114 tonnes – a level that we expect will signal a plateau over 2015,” Grubb said.