COVID-19 hits global gold demand, new record lows in Q1 2020

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 3 May 2020

File Photo: A saleswoman shows a gold earring to customers at a jewellery showroom in Mumbai, India. (Photo: Reuters)

Gold demand rose to 1.083 tonnes in the first quarter of 2020, +1 percent Y-o-Y, according to the World Gold Council’s (WGC) recent gold demand trends report.

According to the report, the COVID-19 outbreak was the single biggest pillar influencing global gold demand.

As COVID-19’s economic impacts have begun to loom, investors sought safe-haven assets to keep their wealth, thus, gold backed EFTs attracted significant inflows that recorded 298 tonnes in Q1 of 2020, pushing global holdings of gold to a new record high of 3.185 tonnes, according the report.

On the other hand, total bar and coin investment dropped to 241.6 tonnes, -6 percent Y-o-Y, including 19 percent down in bar demand and a jump in coin demand by 36 percent driven by safe-haven purchasing by Western retail investors, according the report.

Demand for jewels saw a significant drop due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as quarterly demand fell by 39 percent Y-o-Y to a record low of 325.8 tonnes, according the report.

The report also showed that technology demand fell as well to a new low of 73.4 tonnes, down by 8 percent Y-o-Y.

For central banks, the report noted that it continued to purchase gold in significant quantities with 145 tonnes, although at a lower rate than that recorded in Q1 of 2019.

COVID-19 also caused a disruption to the gold supply, as mine production dropped to a five-year low of 795.8 tonnes, down by 3 percent Y-o-Y, according the report.

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