Global gold demand down by 9% in first half: GFMS

Written by Commodities Bureau | Mumbai, Sep 22 | Updated: Sep 23 2008, 06:23am hrs
The total global demand for gold during the first half (January-June) of the current calendar year of 2008 has decreased by 9%, to 1,886 tonne from 2,078 tonne during the same period in 2007, according to Nikos Kavalis, senior analyst, GFMS.

Demand Jewellery fabrication fell heavily in the first half of 2008, chiefly in response to high and volatile prices. It slipped by 23.7% to 980 tonne from 1,284 tonne due to a sharp decline in demand in India by 240 tonne, he said at the 5th India International Gold Convention 2008 held in Mumbai on Sunday.

On the other hand, the total gold supply from mines has also decreased by 6% to 1,133 tonne in the first half (Jan-June period) of 2008 from 1,204 tonne in the same period of 2007.

Production at mines worldwide fell by over 70 tonne year-on-year in the first half. Much was attributable to a more- than-half output in Indonesia, although many major gold-producing countries, such as South Africa, Australia, the US and Canada, also posted heavy losses.

In contrast, growth in China, the No.1 producer of gold in the world, continued, if more slowly than recently, and new projects have raised output in Russia. Gold prices may stay over $900 an ounce, by the year-end. Strong support for gold prices exist at $ 800 an ounce, he said.

Prithviraj Kothari, managing director, Riddhi Siddhi Bullion Ltd (RBSL), at the inaugural session of the IIGC 2008 conference, said that RSBL Spot, an over-the-counter platform for bullion, would be available on mobile phones from September 21. This Mumbai-based firm launched its OTC platform in March 2008.

We are trying to increase accessibility of the platform as price quotes and trading opportunities will now be available on the go, and people will be able to tap the markets even when they are not in front of their trading screens, Kothari said.