Notes and definitions

3 May, 2017


Revisions to data
All data is subject to revision in the light of new information.

Historical data series
Demand and supply data from Q1 2014 are provided by Metals Focus. Data between Q1 2010 and Q4 2013 is a synthesis of Metals Focus and GFMS, Thomson Reuters data, which was created using relatively simple statistical techniques. For more information on this process, please see Creating a consistent data series by Dr James Abdey.


Central banks and other institutions
Net purchases (i.e. gross purchases less gross sales) by central banks and other official sector institutions, including supra national entities such as the IMF. Swaps and the effects of delta hedging are excluded.

Consumer demand
The sum of jewellery consumption and total bar and coin investment occurring within a country i.e. the amount (in fine weight) of gold purchased directly by individuals.

This measures fabrication of gold into components used in the production of electronics, including – but not limited to – semiconductors and bonding wire.

The first transformation of raw gold into intermediate or final products destined for dental applications such as dental alloys.

Gold-backed Exchange-Traded Funds and similar products (ETFs)
Exchange Traded Funds and similar products including, but not limited to: SPDR Gold Shares, iShares Gold Trust, ZKB Gold ETF, ETFS Physical Gold/Jersey, Gold Bullion Securities Ltd, Central Fund of Canada Ltd, Xetra-Gold, Julius Baer Precious Metals Fund – JB Physical Gold Fund, Source Physical Gold P-ETC, Sprott Physical Gold Trust, Huaan Yifu Gold ETF, Japan Physical Gold ETF, R*Shares Gold BeES, Bosera, Gold ETF. Over time, new products will be included when appropriate. Gold holdings are as reported by the product issuers. Where data is unavailable, holdings have been calculated using reported AUM numbers. For a comprehensive list of the funds we track or to subscribe to our monthly update on gold-backed ETF holdings, visit /goldhub/data/global-gold-backed-etf-holdings-and-flows.

Fabrication is the first transformation of gold bullion into a semi-finished or finished product.

Gold demand
The total of jewellery consumption, technology fabrication, investment and net purchases by central banks.

Gold demand (fabrication basis)
The total of jewellery fabrication, technology fabrication, investment and net purchases by central banks.

End-user demand for all newly-made carat jewellery and gold watches, whether plain gold or combined with other materials. Excluded are: second-hand jewellery; other metals plated with gold; coins and bars used as jewellery; and purchases funded by the trading-in of existing carat gold jewellery.

Jewellery fabrication
Jewellery fabrication is the first transformation of gold bullion into semi-finished or finished jewellery. Differs from jewellery consumption as it excludes the impact of imports/exports and stocking/de-stocking by manufacturers and distributors.

LBMA Gold price PM
Unless otherwise specified, gold price values from 20 March 2015 are based on the LBMA Gold price PM administered by ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), with prior values being based on the London PM Fix.

London PM Fix
Unless otherwise specified, gold price values prior to 20 March 2015 are based on the London PM Fix, with subsequent values being based on the LBMA Gold price
PM administered by ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA).

Medals/imitation coin
Fabrication of gold coins without a face value, produced by both private and national mints. India dominates this category with, on average, around 90% of the total. ‘Medallion’ is the name given to unofficial coins in India. Medals of at least 99% purity, wires and lumps sold in small quantities are also included.

Mine production
The volume (in fine weight) of gold mined globally. This includes an estimate for gold produced as a result of artisanal and small scale mining (ASM), which is largely informal.

Net producer hedging
This measures the impact in the physical market of mining companies’ gold forward sales, loans and options positions. Hedging accelerates the sale of gold, a transaction which releases gold (from existing stocks) to the market. Over time, hedging activity does not generate a net increase in the supply of gold. De-hedging – the process of closing out hedged positions – has the opposite impact and will reduce the amount of gold available to the market in any given quarter.

Official coin demand
Investment by individuals in gold bullion coins. It equates to the fabrication by national mints of coins which are, or have been, legal tender in the country of issue. It is measured at the country of consumption rather than at the country of origin (for example, the Perth Mint in Australia, sells the majority of the coins it produces through its global distribution network) and is measured on a net basis. In practice it includes the initial sale of many coins destined ultimately to be considered as numismatic rather than bullion.

Other industrial
Gold used in the production of compounds, such as Gold Potassium Cyanide, for electro-plating in industrial applications as well as in the production of gold-plated jewellery and other decorative items such as gold thread. India accounts for the bulk of demand in this category.

Over-the-counter (OTC) transactions (also referred to as ‘off exchange’ trading) take place directly between two parties, unlike exchange trading which is conducted via an exchange.

Physical bar demand
Investment by individuals in small (1kg and below) gold bars in a form widely accepted in the countries represented within Gold Demand Trends. This also includes, where identifiable, gold bought and stored via online vendors. It is measured as net purchases.

Quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q)
The change in a quarterly data series from the previous quarter.

Recycled gold
Gold sourced from fabricated products that have been sold or made ready for sale, which is refined back into bullion. This specifically refers to gold sold for cash. It does not include gold traded-in for other gold products (for example, by consumers at jewellery stores) or process scrap (working gold that never becomes part of a fabricated product but instead returns as scrap to a refiner). The vast majority – around 90% – of recycled gold is high-value gold (largely jewellery) and the remainder is gold recovered from industrial waste, including laptops, mobile phones, circuit boards etc. For more detail on recycling, refer to The Ups and Downs of Gold Recycling, Boston Consulting Group and World Gold Council, March 2015.

This is the difference between total supply and gold
demand. Partly a statistical residual, this number also captures demand in the OTC market and changes to inventories on commodity exchanges, with an additional contribution from changes to fabrication inventories.

This captures all gold used in the fabrication of electronics, dental, medical, decorative and other technological applications, with electronics representing the largest component of this category. It includes gold destined for plating jewellery.

Tonne (Metric)
1,000 kg or 32,151 troy oz of fine gold.

Total bar and coin investment
The total of physical bar demand, official coin demand and demand for medals/imitation coin.

Total supply
The total of mine production, net producer hedging and recycling.

Year-on-year (y-o-y)
The change in a data series from the corresponding period of the previous year.

Year-to-date (y-t-d)
In Gold Demand Trends, year-to-date refers to the period to the end of the quarter being reviewed (i.e. for Gold Demand Trends Q2 2017, ‘year-to-date’ referred to the period from 31/12/2016 to 30/06/2017)

Important disclaimers and disclosures [+]Important disclaimers and disclosures [-]