WORLDWIDE Gold Investment demand grew strongly in the first quarter of 2011, with growth in China particularly strong, figures released Thursday by the World Gold Council (WGC) reveal.
Gold Investment demand – which the WGC identifies as Gold Bar and coin demand – jumped 123% to 91 tonnes, while jewelry demand rose 21% to 143 tonnes.
Total Gold Bullion demand in China – which remains the world's second biggest gold market after India – amounted to 234 tonnes, a 47% increase on the first quarter of 2010.
Total worldwide demand for the first quarter was 923 tonnes, a 21% rise on Q1 2010.
The WGC predicted in March last year that Chinese gold demand would double by 2020. Now Albert Cheng, WGC's managing director Far East, believes "that this doubling may in fact be achieved sooner."
"Increasing prosperity in the world's most populous country coupled with their high affinity for gold will serve to drive demand in the long-term," he said.
Total Indian gold demand for Q1 2011, meanwhile, rose 11% year-on-year in to 292 tonnes – with bar and coin investment demand up 8% to 86 tonnes and jewelry demand up 12% to 206 tonnes.
The second quarter has started strongly, according to industry sources. Initial assessments by gold dealers suggesting the annual Akshaya Tritiya festival on May 6 saw an average 20% increase in gold purchases compared with 2010.
"There was a 20-30% increase in the weight of the gold purchased this year," said TK Ramesh, executive director of Kalyan Jewellers, a jewelry chain which has 25 showrooms in southern India.
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