Global gold demand falls 4% in 2012 as Indians bought less

Global gold demand falls 4% in 2012 as Indians bought less New Delhi: Gold demand globally reduced by 4 percent to 4,405.5 tonnes in 2012 due to less demand from India, a report by World Gold Council said on Thursday.

In 2011, global demand for gold stood at 4,582 tonnes.

The demand for gold globally slided in the second and the third quarter in 2012, the report said.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, demand was up by 4 percent 1,195.9 tonnes on yearly basis due to demand "from India, China and central banks", the report said.

"Whilst Indian full year demand was down 12 percent on the previous year, the market performed strongly in the final quarter with total demand at 261.9 tonnes, an increase of 41 percent on the same period last year," WGC report said.

The report said that Indian consumer demand (total demand for gold jewellery, bars and coins) in the first half of 2012 was 36 percent lower than the first half of 2011.

However, in the second half 2012 there was increase of 23 percent compared to same period in 2011.

"In India the prospect of duty increases, which came in to force in January 2013, may have added to strong buying in the final quarter to beat the anticipated price rises," WGC said.

The annual demand for gold from India in value terms reached Rs 2,47,500 crore which was up by 6 percent compared to 2011, the report said.

Demand from China "was flat year-on?year, reflecting the impact of economic slowdown. However looking at Q4, total demand was up 1 percent on the previous quarter to 202.5 tonnes," WGC said.

Central bank buying for the full year rose by 17 percent compared to 2011, totalling 534.6 tonnes, the highest level since 1964, it added.

"Central bank purchases stood at 145.0t in Q4, up 29 percent on the corresponding quarter in the previous year, making this the eighth consecutive quarter in which central banks have been net purchasers of gold," WGC said.

Global investment in ETFs in 2012 was up significantly by 51 percent on the preceding year, though Q4 was down 16 percent to 88.1 tonnes when compared with the high levels recorded in Q3 2012, it added.

"In value terms, gold demand in 2012 was USD 236.4 billion an all-time high. Gold demand in value terms for the final quarter of the year was 6 percent higher year-on-year at USD 66.2 billion, marking the highest ever in Q4 total" WGC said.