At the end of last week, gold rallied to close at more than $1,300 per ounce (oz). This week, gold has been trading around $1,320/oz. This comes on the heels of 4% growth in annual gold demand driven by the highest central bank buying in 50 years, according to the World Gold Council, which recently released a new report: Gold Demand Trends Full year and Q4 2018.
The report details how gold demand in 2018 reached 4,345.1 metric ton (mt), up from 4,159.9 mt in 2017. Annual gold supply firmed slightly to 4,490.2 mt, with mine production inching up to a new high of 3,364.9 mt. A multidecade high in central bank buying (651.5 tons) drove growth. Demand was bumped up in the fourth quarter by 112.4 mt of ETF inflows, but annual inflows into these products (of 68.9 mt) were 67% lower than 2017. Investment in bars and coins accelerated in the second half of the year, up 4% to 1,090.2 mt in 2018. Full-year jewelry demand was steady at 2,200 mt. Gold used in technology climbed marginally to 334.6 mt in 2018, although growth ran out of steam in the fourth quarter.