The latest quarterly report from the World Gold Council reports that demand for gold bullion bars and coins is up 49% for Q3, compared with the same period in 2019.
In weight terms, demand saw sales of gold rise from 149.06 tonnes to 222.1 tonnes worth of gold between July and September, with most of the growth coming from coin demand as investors in the US, UK, mainland Europe and Turkey sought safe-haven assets during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Statistics show that combined demand for physical gold and ETFs (exchange traded funds) slowed following the earlier rush for gold earlier in the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Despite this, 494.6 tonnes of gold in total was bought in Q3, up 21% from 2019. ETFs specifically accounted for 272.5 tonnes of this.
The slowdown coincides with what our price chart below shows and the rise in value of gold following the initial lockdowns across the globe.
While momentum has kept the price of gold high since August's peak, more impoverished countries like Thailand have reported net sales of gold as people cash in in order to survive the economic downturn caused by Covid. This necessity has also hit gold jewellery, which has seen the high prices deter buyers and those in possession look to cash in.
These WGC statistics put gold jewellery demand at the lowest since the turn of the Millennium, when they began their full range of data observation. Even with this record low, demand compared to Q3 2019 is down 29% in volume terms, but only down 8% in value terms – the more important measure. The reality is that while some need to sell, many more are buying gold, and bullion bars and especially coins are what's top of the agenda for investors in these turbulent times.