India and China Driving Gold Demand

The World Gold Council’s (WGC) latest quarterly recap shows global gold demand is getting stronger despite rising gold prices. Gold rose 28 percent to record the highest average price for a quarter ever at $1,226.75 an ounce while gold demand jumped 12 percent on a year-over-year basis to 921.8 tons during the quarter.

Jewelry demand, which increased 8 percent on a year-over-year basis, accounted for 57 percent of overall demand, while investment demand rose 19 percent to account for 31 percent of total demand.

It appears consumers and investors, especially in India, China, Russia and Turkey, are growing accustomed to higher gold prices. At the end of the third quarter, gold demand in India had already exceeded that of 2009 and demand levels in China are ahead of last year’s pace.

The WGC says “these results demonstrate that consumers in these countries are becoming accustomed to high price ranges…and consumers are preferring to make gold jewelry purchases at current prices in order to avoid purchasing at higher prices in [the] future.”

Investment demand rose despite a 7 percent decline in investment in ETFs, which has been the biggest driver in investment demand of late.

Chinese investors seeking protection from rising interest rates directed a considerable portion of their savings into gold products, causing demand for gold bars to jump 44 percent. Net retail investment in China reached 45 tons, breaking the previous record of 40 tons set in the first quarter of 2010.

We’ve said this many times, as the economy recovers and per capita incomes in countries such as China and India rise, consumers and investors within those countries will likely see gold as a key investment vehicle because of the cultural connection carried over thousands of years.

Additionally, the official sector—central banks—were net buyers of gold with Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Philippines increasing their holdings. This offset the International Monetary Fund’s continued selling of gold under the current Central Bank Gold Agreement.

About Frank Holmes 264 Articles

Affiliation: U.S. Global Investors

Frank Holmes is CEO and chief investment officer of U.S. Global Investors, Inc., which manages a diversified family of mutual funds and hedge funds specializing in natural resources, emerging markets and infrastructure.

The company’s funds have earned more than two dozen Lipper Fund Awards and certificates since 2000. The Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) was Lipper’s top-performing global natural resources fund in 2010. In 2009, the World Precious Minerals Fund (UNWPX) was Lipper’s top-performing gold fund, the second time in four years for that achievement. In addition, both funds received 2007 and 2008 Lipper Fund Awards as the best overall funds in their respective categories.

Mr. Holmes was 2006 mining fund manager of the year for Mining Journal, a leading publication for the global resources industry, and he is co-author of “The Goldwatcher: Demystifying Gold Investing.”

He is also an advisor to the International Crisis Group, which works to resolve global conflict, and the William J. Clinton Foundation on sustainable development in nations with resource-based economies.

Mr. Holmes is a much-sought-after conference speaker and a regular commentator on financial television. He has been profiled by Fortune, Barron’s, The Financial Times and other publications.

Visit: U.S. Global Investors

1 Comment on India and China Driving Gold Demand

  1. I have just returned from a trip to China and it is easy to see why gold is rising when you go there. Gold is sold in retail banks and there are gold shops everywhere. Sometimes they have 1kg bars on display in the bank branches. Gold as an investment is mainstream in China.

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