Q3 gold demand firmly above longer-term average
Central banks gold buying maintained a historic pace but fell short of the Q3’22 record. Jewellery demand softened slightly in the face of high gold prices, while the investment picture was mixed.
Gold demand (excluding OTC) in Q3 was 8% ahead of its five-year average, but 6% weaker y/y at 1,147t. Inclusive of OTC and stock flows, total demand was up 6% y/y at 1,267t.1
Net central bank buying of 337t was the third strongest quarter in our data series, although failed to match the exceptional 459t from Q3’22. Yet, demand from central banks y-t-d is 14% ahead of the same period last year at a record 800t.
Q3 investment demand of 157t, although 56% higher y/y, was weak relative to its five-year average of 315t. Global gold ETFs lost 139t in Q3 – a far smaller outflow than Q3’22 (-244t).
Bar and coin investment declined 14% y/y to 296t, although remained firmly above the five-year quarterly average of 267t. The y/y decline is largely the product of sharp falls in Europe.
OTC investment totalled 120t in Q3. This opaque source of demand was again evident as the gold price found firm support for much of Q3, despite ETF outflows and falling COMEX futures net longs.
Jewellery consumption softened slightly, down 2% y/y at 516t amid continued gold price strength. Jewellery fabrication was marginally more resilient, down 1% to 578t due to inventory build-up.
Fragile consumer electronics demand continued to undermine volumes of gold used in technology, which fell 3% y/y to 75t.
Mine production reached a record 971t in Q3, helping to lift total gold supply to 1,267t (+6% y/y). Recycling was also higher y/y, up 8% to 289t.