London—Gold jewelry demand continues to recover from pandemic-driven weakness, the World Gold Council said, with demand in the United States among the bright spots.
According to the WGC’s Gold Demand Trends report for the third quarter, economic recovery and improving consumer sentiment drove demand in Q3, continuing the uptick seen in the first half of the year.
WGC said global Q3 demand for gold jewelry was 33 percent higher year-over-year at 443 tons but 12 percent below the five-year average.
In the U.S., gold jewelry demand was up 12 percent year-over-year to 32 tons, the highest third-quarter total for the region since 2009.
The period’s performance, fueled by continued economic recovery and the country’s vaccination campaign, was even more impressive given the market had already started its recovery in Q3 of last year, WGC said.
Quarter-over-quarter, though, demand was down 16 percent on the back of a “very strong” Q2 2021 and the withdrawal of federal income support.
In China, meanwhile, gold jewelry demand reached 157 tons in Q3, which is 7 percent higher quarter-over-quarter and up 32 percent year-over-year. WGC said lower and more stable gold prices and “relatively healthy” growth of disposable income supported demand there.
But, even with the growth, the quarter was still 7 percent below the 10-year average from 2010 to 2019.
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In India, Q3 gold jewelry demand was up by about 60 percent both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year due to strong pent-up demand, an uptick in economic activity, and lower gold prices, WGC said.
After having been locked down for most of the second quarter to combat a severe second wave of COVID-19, jewelry demand bounced back in Q3, with the vaccine rollout and an end to the monsoon season further boosting consumer sentiment.
The gold price averaged $1,789.50 per ounce in the third quarter, slightly lower than the Q2 average.
Overall, global demand for gold—for use in bars/coins and technology as well as jewelry—fell 7 percent year-over-year to 831 tons in the third quarter.
Year-to-date, it’s 9 percent lower than the comparable period last year.
Gold supply, meanwhile, was flat in the first nine months of the year.
Mine production has steadily increased through 2021, leading the year-to-date total up 5 percent, but recycling has slowed down significantly, decreasing by more than 12 percent over the same period last year.