Despite a challenging start to 2015, global gold demand remained resilient in 2015 compared with 2014 at 4,212 tonnes according to the World Gold Council’s latest Gold Demand Trends report.
Sustained buying from central banks and the retail investment sector, led by China and Europe with strong support from the US, spurred the strong recovery in the second half of the year.
Investors took advantage of weaker prices in Q3, buying gold bars and coins amid a softening economic backdrop, financial turbulence and sustained geopolitical tension.
Overall, jewellery demand for the full year 2015 was down 3% to 2,415t from 2,481t in the previous year.
Following a slower start to the year, the Q3 and Q4 combined produced the strongest second half-year total for gold jewellery in 11 years.
Q4 2015 saw steady levels of jewellery demand at 671 tonnes compared to 677 tonnes in the same period last year, with retailers reporting an increase in sales around the Indian festival period.
World Gold Council head of market intelligence Alistair Hewitt said: “In a year that saw global economic and stock market turmoil, the first US interest rate rise in nine years and falling oil prices, demand for gold remained resilient, coming in at 4,212 tonnes for the full year.
“Official sector purchases, combined with strength in the Asian markets and continuing momentum in the US and Europe, reinforced gold’s credentials as a portfolio diversifier, a wealth preservation tool and a hedge against a range of risks.
“Looking ahead, physical demand will continue to be supported by strong central bank purchases, and continued buying of jewellery, 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 stockmarkets have wobbled, gold has performed well.”
Gold Demand Trends
Full-year 2015 saw China (985 tonnes) and India (849 tonnes) continue their dominance in the global gold market, accounting for close to 45% of total global gold demand during 2015.
Annual consumer demand was up in in both countries too, at 2% and 1% respectively.
Global investment demand for the full year grew by 8% to 878 tonnes from 815 tonnes in 2014.
The ETF market saw a slowdown in outflows: 133 tonnes in 2015, compared with 185 tonnes in 2014.
If we just look at the year to date, the investment case for gold is as strong as ever. While stockmarkets have wobbled, gold has performed well
Alistair Hewitt, World Gold Council
Q4 witnessed a continuation of these trends, with a number of key regions experiencing double-digit growth.
Total supply for the year experienced a drop of 4% to 4,258 tonnes for the full year, compared with 4,414 tonnes in 2014, reflective of both recycling hitting multi-year lows and mine production growth falling to its lowest level since 2008.