LONDON (Reuters) – Global demand for gold fell in the third quarter to its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2020, as financial investors sold the metal, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.
However, demand from jewelers, central banks and smaller individual investors buying gold bars and coins has been strong, the World Gold Council said.
And the World Gold Council said in its latest quarterly report, that the total demand for gold during the period from July to September amounted to 831 tons, down from 894.4 tons in the same period last year and 1084.9 tons in the third quarter of 2019.
The numbers show the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Central banks halted purchases as the virus spread, store closures and job losses caused jewelry sales to plummet, particularly in Asia, but the threat of economic damage led to a huge pile-up of investors, especially in the West.
Gold is often seen as a safe store of value.
Central bank and jewelry demand partially recovered as economies recovered. Small investors are buying at a faster rate than they were before the pandemic, but large investors have been volatile.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) hoard gold sold last year as economic growth picked up and again this year as attention turned to higher interest rates that would make non-yielding gold less attractive.
Over the course of the entire year, WGC’s chief market analyst, Louise Street, said, “Strong consumer and central bank demand will cushion losses from ETFs.”
“Demand for jewelry will continue to exceed last year’s levels, but overall investment demand will be weaker in 2021, despite healthy demand for bar and coins,” she said. (Chart: Gold Demand, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/znvnezgmxpl/WGC%20Q3.JPG)
WGC forecast demand from jewelers at 1,700-1,800 tons for 2021, which will compare to 1,401 tons in 2020 and 2,123 tons in 2019.
She said he would “not be surprised” if central banks bought more than 450 tonnes this year, up from 255 tonnes in 2020 but less than the 605 tonnes they bought in 2019.
Here are the third quarter numbers and comparisons.
Gold Demand (T) *
Q3 Q2 Q3 % %
2021 2021 2020 change change
Jewelry 442.6 396.6 332.9 12% 33%
Technology 83.8 80.2 77.2 4% 9%
– Of which electronics 68.9 66.4 63.2 4% 9%
Other industries 12.0 10.9 10.9 10% 10%
Dentistry 2.9 2.9 3.1 0% -8%
Investment 235.0 283.8 495.0 -17% -53%
– Including bullion and coins 261.7 243.1 221.0 8% 18%
– ETFs and Similar -26.7 40.7 273.9
Central Banks 69.3 190.6 -10.6 -64%
Total Demand 830.8 951.2 894.4 -13% -7%
* Source: World Gold Council, Gold Demand Trends Q3 2021