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Strong gold demand recorded in 2015 and WGC predicts more of the same in 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Demand for gold last year was on a par with the previous 12 months, with a strong second half making up for weaker demand in the first six months of 2015, according to statistics just published by the World Gold Council (WGC).

Its new Gold Demand Trends report found that “sustained buying” from central banks around the world - plus continued strong demand from China and India in the second half of the year – resulted in stable gold sales for 2016 as a whole.

Investors in China and Europe drove up sales of gold bullion coins and bars, with sales also strong in the US. The WGC said that financial and political tension, coupled with good value gold prices fuelled investor demand during the second half of the year. Globally, investment in the precious metal rose by eight per cent to 878 tonnes from 815 tonnes in 2014.

China remained the world’s biggest buyer of gold in 2015, snapping up 985 tonnes, an increase of two per cent on the year before. India was the second biggest international player in the market, buying 849 tonnes in total, a rise of one per cent on its 2014 total. The two countries combined were responsible for buying almost 45 per cent of the precious metal sold internationally.

Central banks slightly increased their annual demand for gold, buying in 588 tonnes compared to 584 tonnes the previous year. The WGC said that reduced confidence in the international economy and the falling price of oil drove demand.

WGC head of market intelligence, Alistair Hewitt, said: “In a year that saw global economic and stock market turmoil, the first US interest rate rise in nine years and falling oil prices, demand for gold remained resilient, coming in at 4,212 tonnes for the full year.

“Looking ahead, physical demand will continue to be supported by strong central bank purchases, and continued buying of jewellery, bars and coins by households across the world, led by India and China. If we just look at the year to date, the investment case for gold is as strong as ever. While stock markets have wobbled, gold has performed well.”