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India gold demand revives, imports up in Sept quarter: WGC

China, which had once surpassed India in gold demand two quarters ago has fallen apart with its demand actually falling in Q3

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India’s revived in June-September quarter 2012. According to data compiled by the (WGC), gold demand totalled 223.1 tonnes, up 9% year-on-year from 204.8 tonnes in Q3 2011. China, which had once surpassed India in gold demand two quarters ago has fallen apart with its demand actually falling in Q3.

WGC today said while announcing the gold demand trend report for June-September quarter of 2012 that India’s demand went up due to restocking of gold by jewelers for sale during festive season, it attributed the gold preference by Indians to the fact that, ‘Indian consumers also seem to have adjusted to the rise in gold price levels.’

On outlook for India’s demand, World Gold Council’s Managing Director, Investment, said,“After a slow start to the first half of 2012, Q3 witnessed a gradual pick up in gold demand in India head of the festive and wedding season that falls in Q4. Against the backdrop of a slowing economy and persistent inflation, this upward trend encouraged by India’s socio-cultural affinity and gold’s significance as an effective store of wealth is likely to continue through the end of 2012.”

In China demand fell 8% to 176.8t in Q3 2012 from 191.2t in Q3 2011 due to falls in jewellery demand by 6% and investment demand by 12% mainly as a result of negative sentiment surrounding China's slowing economy.

Global gold demand in Q3 2012 was 1,084.6 tonnes, down 11% from the record Q3 2011 figure of 1,223.5t.This dip in demand, according to WGC, is in comparison with exceptional demand in Q3 last year. “Gold demand remains resilient. Q3 2012 was above the five year quarterly average of 984.7t,according to the World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends Report.

Major contributor to the global gold demand was the exchange traded funds and  central banks world wide. The report said, ‘Central banksbought 97.6 tons in the quarter. In six out of the last seven quarters, central bank demand has been around 100t, which is a sharp increase from as recently as 2010. The year to date figure for central bank buying is up 9%.’

Central banks have been buying gold to diversify their giving the feeling that the yellow metal continues to be safe heaven. Global investment in ETFs over the quarter was up significantlyby 56% on the previous year.

While the council does not predict prices, the indication available from council’s MD for investment is interesting. Marcus Grubb of WGC said, “Gold is beginning to re-establish itself as part of the fabric of the financial system. In the medium term, the quantitative easing initiatives in the West and the continuing growth story in the East, particularly in India and China, coupled with the seasonally strong quarter coming up in Asia, are excellent indicators for further growth in the gold market.”

He also said that, “Against a backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty and elections in China and the US, it is clear from five year rising demand trends that gold’s fundamental property as a vehicle for capital preservation continues to endure, as evidenced by this quarter’s increase in global investment, up 56% and continued purchasing by central banks, the ultimate long term investors.”

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