The gold supply chain is truly global. Gold is mined on every continent except Antarctica, refined into bars and coins in numerous countries, and distributed far and wide. This geographical dispersion not only brings stability to the gold market, it is also necessary to satisfy demand.


But the onset and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to various parts of the gold supply chain. In this report, we explore:

How the different components across the supply chain have been affected

  • Following national and local government measures aimed at countering the outbreak, total gold production fell 3% y-o-y in Q1, while recycling activity fell 4% y-o-y
  • Operations at a small number of refineries and fabricators were also halted during Q1

The impact on the flow of gold through the supply chain

  • Stringent travel restrictions – border closures and a reduction in commercial flights – impeded the flow of gold along the chain

How the disruption has affected investment demand

  • In the wholesale market the availability and liquidity of LGD bars was relatively unaffected by the supply chain issues
  • Supply and logistical issues caused depletion of some dealer inventories of small bars and coins, and left many investors facing long wait times and high premiums

We find that while gold’s supply chain has not escaped unscathed, it has demonstrated resilience in the face of these challenges, highlighting a key strength of the market.


Download the full report

Copyright and other rights

© 2020 World Gold Council. All rights reserved. World Gold Council and the Circle device are trademarks of the World Gold Council or its affiliates.
All references to LBMA Gold Price are used with the permission of ICE Benchmark Administration Limited and have been provided for informational purposes only. ICE Benchmark Administration Limited accepts no liability or responsibility for the accuracy of the prices or the underlying product to which the prices may be referenced. Other third-party content is the intellectual property of the respective third party and all rights are reserved to them. 

Reproduction or redistribution of any of this information is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of World Gold Council or the appropriate copyright owners, except as specifically provided below.

The use of the statistics in this information is permitted for the purposes of review and commentary (including media commentary) in line with fair industry practice, subject to the following two pre-conditions: (i) only limited extracts of data or analysis be used; and (ii) any and all use of these statistics is accompanied by a citation to World Gold Council and, where appropriate, to Metals Focus, Refinitiv or other identified third-party source, as their source.

World Gold Council does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information. World Gold Council does not accept responsibility for any losses or damages arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information.

This information is not a recommendation or an offer for the purchase or sale of gold, any gold-related products or services or any other products, services, securities or financial instruments (collectively, “Services”). Investors should discuss their individual circumstances with their appropriate investment professionals before making any decision regarding any Services or investments.

This information contains forward-looking statements, such as statements which use the words “believes”, “expects”, “may”, or “suggests”, or similar terminology, which are based on current expectations and are subject to change. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that any forward-looking statements will be achieved. We assume no responsibility for updating any forward-looking statements.