International demand for gold inched lower in 2019 as heavy purchases by investors, and central banks had been offset by weaker sales to retail customers who balked at rising prices, the World Gold Council (WGC) stated Thursday.
Prices soared 18% last year to the very best since 2013 as global economic development retarded.
Gold is often seen as a safe commodity of value during political and economic ambivalence and turns into more common when bank rates drop, as they did last year.
However, higher gold prices, which hit record ranges in some currencies, dampened curiosity in gold jewelry and retail bars and coins.
This dynamic is likely to proceed through 2020, with central banks and nervous traders purchasing, whereas retail consumers pull again, stated the WGC’s head of market intelligence, Alistair Hewitt.
World demand for gold was 4,355.7 tonnes in 2019, down 1% from the year earlier’s 4,401 tonnes, the WGC stated in its latest quarterly Gold Demand Trends report.
The year concluded on a weak note, with demand over October-December at 1,045.2 tonnes down 19% from the same period in the previous year, the WGC stated.
For the full year, the use of gold for jewelry plunged 6% to 2,107 tonnes, with consumption plunging 9% in India and eight% in China – the two most significant marketplaces.
Purchases of gold bars and coins dipped by 10% in India and 31% in China, pulling total international demand down 20% to 870.6 tonnes.
Central banks and other sovereign entities purchased 650.3 tonnes of gold in 2019, only 5.9 tonnes lower than 2018’s more than half a century’s high of 656.2 tonnes.