According to the latest quarterly Gold Demand Trends from World Gold Council (WGC), gold demand fell 1% in 2019 as a huge rise in investment flows into ETFs and similar products was matched by the price-driven slump in consumer demand.
Global demand in H2 was down 10% on the same period of 2018 as y-o-y losses in Q4 compounded those from Q3, notably in jewellery demand and retail bar and coin investment.
Central bank demand also slowed in the second half - down 38% in contrast with H1's 65% increase. But this was partly due to the sheer scale of buying in the preceding few quarters and annual purchases nevertheless reached a remarkable 650.3t - the second highest level for 50 years.
ETF investment inflows bucked the general trend. Investment in these products held up strongly throughout the first nine months of the year, reaching a crescendo of 256.3t in Q3. Momentum then subsided in Q4, with inflows slowing to 26.8t (-76% y-o-y). Technology saw modest declines throughout the year, although electronics demand staged a minor recovery in Q4.
The annual supply of gold increased 2% to 4,776.1t. This growth came purely from recycling and hedging, as mine production slipped 1% to 3,436.7t.
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