“2013 proved to be the year of the consumer, with gold jewellery demand close to pre-crisis levels and investment in small bars and coins hitting a record high,” said the World Gold Council in their new Gold Demand Trends Report.
“The result was annual gold demand of 3,756.1 tonnes, valued at US$170bn. However, outweighing the impressive consumer demand were the effects of ETF outflows and lower central bank buying, resulting in 2013 demand 15% below the strong volumes recorded in 2012.”
Indeed, the dumping by the investor/trader class was blamed for the nearly 30% price decline in the yellow metal.
“Chinese consumers set a new annual record, while India was resilient in the face of import restrictions,” the WGC added. “The sharp fall in the gold price in the second quarter elicited a strong and swift response from consumers in Asia and the Middle East, an effect that extended out to western markets in the final quarter of the year.”