Global Gold Demand Rose 8% To 1,123 Tonne In April-June, Says World Gold Council
Global gold demand grew by 8 percent year-on-year to 1,123 tonne in the April-June period, mainly driven by central banks boosting their gold reserves and a rise in investments in gold-backed exchange traded funds, according to a report.
The overall demand in the second quarter of 2018 was at 1,038.8 tonne, according to the World Gold Council's Q2 Gold Demand Trends report.
Accordin to the report, central banks' demand grew by 67 percent as they bought 224.4 tonne of gold in April-June, compared to 152.8 tonne a year ago.
Poland was the largest purchaser during the quarter, as the country added 100 tonne to its gold reserves, bumping giant purchaser Russia into second place, the report said.
Total investment demand was 1 percent firmer year-on-year, as healthy ETF inflows in Europe counterbalanced a 12 percent drop in bar and coin demand, the report added.
The holdings of gold-backed ETFs grew 67.2 tonne in April-June period to a six-year high of 2,548 tonne.
"Continued geopolitical instability, dovish commentary on monetary policy from central banks, and the rallying gold price in June were the main factors driving inflows into the sector in Europe," said WGC India Managing Director Somasundaram PR.
Bars and coins saw 12 percent drop in the second quarter mainly due to China following the easing of currency concerns and high prices.
WGC Head of Market Intelligence Alistair Hewitt said that June was a big month for gold as the price broke out of a multi-year trading range to hit a six-and-a-half year high and gold-backed ETF assets-under-management grew by 15 percent - the largest monthly increase since 2012.
"While the Fed's dovish turn was a key driver for this, it also builds on a strong H1 which saw gold demand hit a three-year high, underpinned by extremely strong central bank buying. But we also saw an uptick in sales at an individual level as investors took advantage of June's price rally to lock-in profits, jewellery recycling and retail bar and coin liquidations both rose," he added.
Meanwhile, the jewellery demand witnessed 2 percent growth at to 531.7 tonne from from 520.8 tonne in same period last year, due to strong recovery in India's jewellery market driven by a busy wedding season and healthy festival sales, before the June price rise brought it to a virtual standstill.
Gold supply grew 6 percent in Q2 to 1,186.7 tonne from 1,121.3 tonne in the same period last year boosted by the sharp June gold price rally.
A record 882.6 tonne for Q2 gold mine production and a 9 percent jump in recycling to 314.6 tonne led the growth in supply.
"As we head into second half, we believe the factors underpinning ETF inflows and central bank buying, including looser monetary policy and geopolitical uncertainty, will continue. Consumer demand, however, may be a bit soft as people adapt to the higher price level," Hewitt added.