Demand for gold worldwide last year was almost flat on the year at 4,212 tonnes (t), according to the World Gold Council’s latest Gold Demand Trends report. Demand bounced back in the second half of 2015 due to sustained buying from central banks and a strong second half from China and India. This was clearly seen in the retail investment sector, with strong purchases of bars and coins by China, Europe and the US, as investors took advantage of weaker prices amid a worsening economic backdrop, financial turbulence and ongoing geopolitical tension.
Jewelry demand for 2015 was down just 3% to 2,415t from 2,481t in 2014. Following a slower start to the year, the last two quarters saw the strongest second half-year total for gold jewelry in 11 years. And the fourth quarter saw steady levels of jewelry demand, at 671t compared to 677t in the same period last year, with retailers reporting an increase in sales during the Indian festival period in November. Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council, said: “Looking ahead, physical demand will continue to be supported by strong central bank purchases, and continued buying of jewelry, bars and coins by households across the world, led by India and China. If we just look at the year to date, the investment case for gold is as strong as ever. While stock markets have wobbled, gold has performed well.”