The World Gold Council (WGC) released a report on Friday showing that in the 1st quarter, global demand for gold decreased by 13% per annum, to 1,081 tons, after reaching an 11-year high in 2022. The latest change was due to a reduction in gold purchases by investors, which offset purchases by central banks and Chinese consumers.
The WGC said that in the 1st quarter, jewelers accounted for about half of the demand for gold, while investors and states were responsible for most of the rest. Central banks bought 228 tons of gold (the best result for the 1st quarter since 2000), while the demand for jewelry in China amounted to 198 tons (the highest figure for any quarter since the first quarter of 2015). Meanwhile, amid turmoil in the banking sector and increasing fears about the recession, American buyers purchased 32 tons of gold bars and coins, which is the highest figure for any quarter since 2010.
The data also showed that in Europe, the demand for gold bars and coins declined in the 1st quarter, and the demand for jewelry in India fell to a three-year low.
The WGC said that investment demand for gold - which already began to grow in March amid bank failures and expectations of the end of the Fed's monetary tightening cycle - is likely to increase this year, and purchases by central banks will remain strong, albeit below last year's high.