The Australian Mining Review

Gold demand at 8yr lows

Weak jewellery sector, ETF inflows blamed: World Gold Council


SOFT jewellery sector demand and lower inflows into exchange-traded funds ( ETFs) in Q3 2017 are blamed for the lowest level of global gold demand since Q3 2009. According to the World Gold Council’s latest

Gold Demand Trends report, the 9 per cent year-on-year drop to 915 tonnes (t) was attributed to a 3 per cent fall in global jewellery demand, as India’s new GST and tighter anti-money laundering regulation­s deterred buyers.

Inflows into gold-backed ETFs grew by just 19t compared with the remarkable 144t influx in Q3 2016.

Investors continued to favour gold’s risk-hedging properties, but the greater focus was on buoyant stock markets, the report stated.

Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligen­ce World Gold Council said it was a tough quarter for gold demand, but there were bright spots.

“Retail investment demand in China grew for the fourth consecutiv­e quarter; the Turkish and Russian central banks added to gold reserves; and, after years of declines, we also saw increased use of gold in technology, supported by the demand for high-end smartphone­s,” Mr Hewitt said.

Volumes of gold used in technology increased for the fourth consecutiv­e quarter as strong demand for LEDs and continued growth in the use of 3D sensors in new smartphone­s boosted demand by 2 per cent.

Year-to-date technology demand was 244.4t; representi­ng the first increase since 2010.

The report noted the developmen­t of a gold- based catalyst that could improve the performanc­e and efficiency of hydrogen- powered cars by US and Chinese researcher­s.

Writing in leading journal Science, researcher­s described the developmen­t of a gold nanopartic­le/ molybdenum- carbide catalyst which attained a high level of activity at low temperatur­es, producing the pure streams of hydrogen critical to efficient fuel cell operation.

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