The report examines the factors that have driven China’s rise to become the number one producer and consumer of gold since the market began liberalising in the late 1990s and consumers were first allowed to buy gold.
Gold demand of 3,756.1 tonnes in 2013 was worth US$170.4bn. Consumers generated exceptional levels of demand, with jewellery at its highest since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 and investment in small bars and coins hitting a record high. This was in contrast to large-scale outflows from ETFs, due to a number tactical western investors liquidating their positions as US economic sentiment improved. Central banks made healthy purchases of 368.6 tonnes, the fourth consecutive year of positive demand. The net result was a 15% decline in overall gold demand from 2012.