Embargo: Not for release before Wednesday, 13 August, 07.00AM (New York) 12.00PM (UK)
PRESS RELEASE 13 August, 2008
GOLD DEMAND HITS RECORD VALUE LEVELS IN Q2’08 BUT VOLUME SUFFERS
DUE TO HIGH AND VOLATILE GOLD PRICES
At US$21.2bn, global dollar demand for gold reached new heights in the second quarter of 2008,
rising 9% on year earlier levels. Global investment demand for gold showed the strongest surge,
reaching $3.5 billion in Q2 2008, 29% higher than Q2 2007, with particular strength in the US,
China, Egypt and Vietnam.
However, with a decrease of 19% on Q2’07 to 735.6 tonnes, the continued high and volatile price
of gold dampened total demand in tonnage terms during the quarter, according to Gold Demand
Trends, which is released today by World Gold Council (WGC). The report shows that this
particularly impinged on jewellery demand, which fell 24% to 504 tonnes and was also affected by
tightened consumer spending due to the global credit squeeze and growing inflationary pressures.
Markets which saw the largest decline in jewellery demand were India, which fell 47% to 118
tonnes, and the US which fell 30% to 33 tonnes. However, positive news came from China and
Egypt, which saw a 2% and 8% increase in jewellery demand respectively.
Despite a number of markets turning to gold due to its investment attributes as a safe haven in
times of rising inflation and unstable equity markets, identifiable global investment demand in
tonnage terms was down by 4% over Q2 2007 to 119.8 tonnes, as some investors took profits.
This decline represents a 9% decrease in net retail investment, which was partly offset by a move
to positive net investment in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and similar products.
Holdings in ETFs fell in April but recovered in May and June. The recovery continued into July with
combined holdings in all gold ETFs passing through the 1,000 tonne mark.
Trends in retail investment demand differed significantly from market to market. There were
strong increases compared to the previous year in China, the US and Vietnam fuelled by concerns
over the general economic climate, inflation and stock market falls. In India, however, retail
investment followed the same trend as the jewellery market, falling 41% to 43.4 tonnes, as
investors were deterred by price volatility and as inflation reduced funds available for saving.
Industrial and dental demand declined by 5% on year earlier levels to 111.8 tonnes, primarily due
to declining demand for gold in the dental and ‘other industrial’ sectors, which fell in response to
the continued high gold price. In value terms, demand was equivalent to $3.2bn, a rise of 27%.
James Burton, CEO of World Gold Council, said:
“As expected, the continued high and volatile gold price, together with economies across the globe
witnessing inflationary pressures and a tightening of consumer wallets, dampened consumer
demand for gold in tonnage terms during the quarter.
“Despite this, consumers are continuing to spend more money on gold, even if they no longer get
as much of it. This reinforces the positive attitude and buying intentions of consumers, and
indicates that, despite price increases, gold demand remains robust.
“Investment for the quarter was affected by profit taking, but we also saw a surge in investment
demand in several markets that are feeling exposed to the economic downturn. It is pleasing that
combined holdings in gold ETFs, first introduced by the World Gold Council in 2003, have now
passed the 1,000 tonne mark.”