H1 gold demand down 6% at 2,076t


Record inflows into gold-backed ETFs offset weakness in other sectors, with consumer demand hit by COVID-19


With Q2 gold demand down 11% y-o-y to 1,015.7t, demand for the first half year was 6% weaker at 2,076t. The COVID-19 pandemic was again the main influence on the gold market in Q2, severely curtailing consumer demand while providing support for investment. The global response to the pandemic by central banks and governments, in the form of rate cuts and massive liquidity injections, fuelled record flows of 734t into gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs). These flows helped lift the gold price, which gained 17% in US dollar terms over the first half, hitting record highs in many other currencies.

Total bar and coin investment weakened sharply in Q2, leading to a 17% y-o-y decline in H1 demand to 396.7t. This sector of investment saw a clear East/West divergence in investor behaviour, with most markets across Asia and the Middle East seeing a slowdown in investment, while Western investors increased demand.

H1 jewellery demand slumped 46% y-o-y to 572t as markets remained in lockdown and consumers were deterred by the high price and a squeeze on disposable income. Similar factors were behind a 13% fall in gold used in technology to 140t in H1, as end-user demand for electronics collapsed.

Central bank buying slowed again in Q2, although the comparison is with a record Q2 2019. The sector added a net 233t of gold in H1. The supply of gold was also impacted by the pandemic, falling 6% to 2,192t as both mine production and recycling were affected by lockdown restrictions.  



Record ETF inflows offset consumer weakness

Record gold ETF inflows offset weakness in pandemic-stricken consumer sectors

Sources: Metals Focus, Refinitiv GFMS, World Gold Council; Disclaimer



Inflows into gold ETFs accelerated in Q2, taking H1 inflows to a record-breaking 734t. First half inflows surpassed the 2009 annual record of 646t and lifted global holdings to 3,621t.

The US dollar gold price gained 17% in H1, following a 10% increase during Q2. The gold price reached record highs in numerous currencies, including euros, sterling, rupee and renminbi among others. 

Investment in gold bars and coins slowed sharply in H1 2020, down by 17% to 396.7t – an eleven year low. Steep declines in demand across Asia outstripped growth in the West as investors’ reactions to the pandemic diverged across the globe.

H1 jewellery demand almost halved to 572t amid the global disruption caused by COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic was unsparing and Q2 demand fell to an unprecedented 251t.

Central banks bought 233t of gold during H1, 39% below 2019’s record level. Buying has become more concentrated, with fewer banks adding to reserves so far in 2020. 


The data included in Gold Demand Trends is based on the best and most comprehensive information available to date. However, severe global travel restrictions and high volatility in some areas of gold demand due to the COVID pandemic have presented exceptional challenges to the data-gathering process. This may result in subsequent data revisions as conditions normalise or if more information becomes available.

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