MUMBAI: The World Gold Council (WGC) on Tuesday said that the holdings of gold-backed ETFs hit a new all-time high of 2,855.3 tonne in Q3 and the global gold demand also rose by 3 per cent on the same period last year.
Growth was driven by a 10 per cent increase in recycling, to its highest level since Q1 2016, as the ongoing price rally continued to encourage selling back by consumers.
The inflow in gold-backed ETFs according to the council was at the highest level of quarterly inflows since Q1 2016, signalling that investors owing to rising uncertainty are focusing on Gold as a safe-haven asset.
The council said that a surge in exchange-traded fund (ETF) inflows outweighed softer demand elsewhere in the market.
“Although central bank demand remained healthy, it was significantly lower than the record levels of purchases in Q3 2018. Jewellery demand, however, was hampered by the continued strength in the gold price, which hit a new multi-year high, as well as consumers being downbeat on the health of the global economy,” WGC said.
Further the report noted that central banks added 156.2 tonne to reserves in Q3, falling 38 per cent in comparison to the record Q3 last year.
Jewellery demand according to the council was down 16 per cent in Q3 to 460.9 tonne owing to weak consumer sentiment, and continued geopolitical and economic uncertainty, coupled with substantially higher gold prices.
“…an economic slowdown in India and China coupled with the sharp increase in the gold price, mean many consumers have held off buying gold jewellery,” the report stated.
Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council, commented: “Demand this quarter nudged higher as the continued surge into ETFs more than compensated for weaker demand elsewhere”.