While overall gold demand, at 953.41 metric tons worldwide, during the second quarter of calendar year 2017 was 10 percent lower compared to the same period in 2016, bar and coin demand was up 13 percent for the same period.
The figures are from World Gold Council in its latest report, dated Aug. 3, 2017. The report tracks worldwide demand for the precious metal in all sectors, including investment, jewelry and industrial applications.
Second quarter demand worldwide for gold bars and coins, 240.8 metric tons, was below both the three-year and five-year quarterly averages of 263 metric tons and 306.1 metric tons, respectively.
U.S. demand for gold bars and coins, however, dipped to 10.2 metric tons during the second quarter of 2017, the lowest level since the third quarter of calendar year 2013, according to the WGC report.
Demand in the United States for the first half of calendar year 2017 was 21.5 metric tons lower than the same period in 2016. “This was the biggest [year-to-year] fall in bar and coin tonnage globally,” according to the WGC report.
In China, gold bar and coin demand increased 56 percent year-to-year, reaching 62.6 metric tons.
Measures introduced in Vietnam could remove much of the government red tape in gold bar trading. Starting on July 22, 2017, the State Bank of Vietnam branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are monitoring the requirements of the local gold industry and that could signal higher import quotas for gold bullion and a more open gold market in Vietnam, according to the WGC report.
Gold investment demand in India during the second quarter of 2017 was up 26 percent over the same period in 2016, reaching 40.7 metric tons.
Retail investment demand in Turkey for gold reached its highest levels since 2013. “The improving economy, inflation edging higher, and a strengthening local currency coincided with a near 9 percent drop in the local gold price between April and May,” according to the WGC report. “Investors took advantage of this to increase their gold holdings.”
Investors worldwide also continued to accumulate the metal in exchange-traded funds, buying an additional combined 56 metric tons during the second quarter of 2017.