From the press release
that accompanied today’s release of the World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends for
2012 come the following highlights about gold demand in the fourth quarter
and for all of 2012:
full year demand was down 12% on the previous year, the market performed
strongly in the final quarter with total demand at 261.9t, an increase of 41%
on the same period last year. Both jewellery
and investment demand reached their highest levels for six quarters. Demand
for jewellery was up 35% year-on-year to reach
153.0t, and strong retail demand led to 108.9t of investment buying. In
India the prospect of duty increases, which came in to force in January 2013,
may have added to strong buying in the final quarter to beat the anticipated
Chinese demand was flat year-on–year, reflecting
the impact of economic slowdown. However looking at Q4, total demand was up
1% on the previous quarter to 202.5t. Jewellery
demand was137.0t up 1% on Q4 2011 and investment demand was 65.5t, up 2% on
the previous year. These increases may reflect the fact that the economic
slowdown in China appears to have been shorter than expected.
Central bank buying for the full year rose by 17%
compared to 2011, totalling 534.6t, the highest
level since 1964. Central bank purchases stood at 145.0t in Q4, up 29% on the
corresponding quarter in the previous year, making this the eighth
consecutive quarter in which central banks have been net purchasers of gold.
Global investment in ETFs
in 2012 was up significantly by 51% on the preceding year, though Q4 was down
16% to 88.1t when compared with the high levels recorded in Q3 2012.
On a related note, the World Gold Council has teamed up with UC
Berkeley to offer a course for executives in central banks and finance
ministries dubbed the Executive Programme
in Gold Reserves Management.
It’s kind of odd that they’d do this at UC Berkeley (see here for the course description),
where, it’s my understanding the view of the economics department is that the
yellow metal really is a “barbarous relic”, despite all the central bank
buying in recent years. Of course, Barry Eichengreen,
author of Golden Fetters, is
on the faculty there which makes the location
all the more curious.