Gold demand lifted by jewelry buyers
Updated: 2011-11-18 10:05
China outstrips India as the world's largest market for bullion in Q3
LONDON - China's bullion demand might exceed 750 metric tons this year, as the country overtook India in the third quarter as the world's largest gold jewelry market, the World Gold Council said in a report on Thursday.
Customers select gold jewelry in a store. Bullion will lead a rally in commodities in 2012 as Europe's debt crisis continues to roil markets, spurring demand for the metal as a haven asset, according to Morgan Stanley. [Photo/China Daily]
The amount includes more than 250 metric tons of investment demand and 500 metric tons of jewelry demand, said Albert Cheng, the council's managing director for the Far East region.
Global gold demand rose by 6 percent to a one-and-a-quarter-year high in the third quarter, driven by central bank purchases and European demand amid the escalating euro crisis, the report said.
European purchases of bars and coins more than doubled to 118.1 metric tons in the third quarter, accounting for 30 percent of total coin and bar demand and making it the single largest source of demand for bullion in this form.
Central banks were again active gold buyers in the third quarter. The report showed that the official sector bought 148.4 metric tons of gold, with Russia, Thailand and Bolivia, among others, contributing to an increase from last year's 22.6 tons.
Chinese buyers increased jewelry purchases by 13 percent to 131 tons, in contrast to Indian buyers, who bought 26 percent less jewelry in the third quarter, amounting to 125.3 metric tons.
Gold price hit a record $1,920.30 an ounce in the third quarter, largely due to investor concern over the eurozone debt crisis and US economic conditions. Bullion will lead a rally in commodities in 2012 as Europe's debt crisis continues to roil financial markets, spurring demand for the metal as a haven asset, according to Morgan Stanley.
"China's total gold demand in 2012 will continue to grow at (a double-digit pace) as all the bullish factors are likely to remain in place," Cheng said. "There should not be much problem for China's total demand to grow to 800 metric tons next year" if the macroeconomic backdrop is unchanged, he added.
China's gold investment demand was 204 metric tons in the first three quarters, against 187 metric tons for all of last year, he said. "All fabricators in China are running at full capacity as demand is growing faster than supply," he said.