Global gold demand remained stable in the first three months of the year, totalling 1,079 tonnes, which is only 1% less than the same period last year, a report published Thursday by the World Gold Council shows.
According to the industry body, Asia led the way with China and India alone accounting for 54% of total global gold purchases in the quarter.
Other pockets of strength across South East Asia where Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, the council found.
However gold jewellery sales, still the most significant component of overall demand, dropped 3% in the first three months of the year, from 620 tonnes in 2014 to 620 tonnes.
Appetite for golden ornaments in China, the second biggest consumer, dropped 10% to 213 tonnes, as a rising stock market diverted money into equities, but it was still up 27% against the five-year average. There were also declines in Turkey, Russia and the Middle East. This was counterbalanced by a marked surge in world’s top gold consumer India, where demand jumped 22% to 151 tonnes.
The investment component climbed 4% to 279 tonnes, compared to 268t in the same quarter the previous year, even though demand for bars and coins fell 10% from the previous year.
The World Council attributed the drop to the fact that retail investors, notably in India, diverted their money into equities in the wake of the country’s strong stock market performance.
In value terms, gold demand in Q1 2015 was US$42bn, down 7% compared to Q1 2014. The average gold price of US$1,218.5 per ounce was down 6% on the average Q1 2014 price.
You can read the full report here.