demand for gold in 2011 rose to 4,067.1 tonnes (t) worth an estimated
US$205.5 billion - the first time that global demand has exceeded
US$200billion and the highest tonnage level since 1997, according to the
World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends. The main driver for this
increase was the investment sector where annual demand was 1,640.7t up
5% on the previous record set in 2010 and with a value of US$82.9
billion. The pre-eminent markets for investment demand in 2011 were
India, China and Europe.
China and India remain the cultural heartlands of gold, generating 55% of global jewellery demand and 49% of global demand:
· India remains the largest country for demand with 933.4t, which is notable considering the volatility
the gold price and the weakness of the Indian rupee against the US
dollar during the second half of the year. Gold jewellery accounted for
over 500t and the investment market demand reached 366.0t. Indian demand
accounted for 25% of total bar and coin demand worldwide.
In China, annual demand of 769.8t was up 20% year-on-year as a result
of increases in both jewellery and investment. The largest rise was in
investment, where demand of 258.9t with the value of RMB84.5billion
leaped 69%. China jewellery demand increased every quarter of last year
and was the largest single jewellery market worldwide for the second
half of 2011.
was also a surge in demand in Europe with the region posting its
seventh consecutive annual gain to 374.8t. Germany and Switzerland were
the main drivers of growth in the region as the eurozone remains in
turmoil and the need for asset protection continues to be a priority.
banks continued the trend established in 2010 of being net buyers of
gold. Purchases by central banks soared from 77.0t to 439.7t. This
reflects the need to diversify assets, reduce reliance on one or two
foreign currencies, rebalance reserves and ultimately protect national
Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the World Gold Council
remarked, "What we can see from these 2011 figures is that there were
two main factors driving the results: Asian growth and optimism on the
one hand and western desire to protect assets against uncertainty on the
other. Looking particularly at Asia, there was a major boost to the
overall figures from the increase in Chinese demand, which is a trend
that we see continuing over the next year.