Annual demand for gold in 2012 reached a record $236.4 billion, but in terms of tonnage fell 4 per cent year-over-year to 4,405.5 tonnes, according to a new report from World Gold Council.
Central banks, however, bought 534.6 metric tons of gold last year, the highest level in nearly 50 years.
Nevertheless, investor and central bank demand could not offset the drop in consumer demand.
It’s worth noting that annual gold demand was still 15 per cent higher than the average for the previous five years.
This chart shows the breakdown of gold demand by tons and gold price:
Photo: World Gold Council
In the fourth quarter gold demand totaled 1,195.9 tonnes, the second highest quarterly figure on record after Q3 2011. In value terms, demand reached $66.2 billion. In the fourth quarter jewelry and central bank gold demand increased, and India accounted for 11 per cent of the YoY increase in jewelry demand.