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Global gold jewellery demand declined 10 per cent in 2014. Image courtesy: Vogue Paris
Global gold jewellery demand declined 10 per cent in 2014. Image courtesy: Vogue Paris

Widespread drop in gold jewellery demand

A new study shows overall global gold jewellery demand in 2014 did not meet the record levels achieved in 2013, with many markets reporting year-on-year declines.

The latest World Gold Council (WGC) Gold Demand Trends report found demand for gold jewellery decreased 10 per cent to 2,153 tonnes in 2014, compared to the previous year.

“2014 was always going to be a difficult year for jewellery demand, contending with comparisons to phenomenal strength in 2013,” the report stated, adding that the result remained 5 per cent higher than the five-year average of 2,053 tonnes.

The decline in demand was nevertheless widespread and included one of the world’s largest gold jewellery markets, China. The region recorded a 33 per cent drop to 623.5 tonnes, with the report highlighting the fact that retailers had “suffered” during the period.

Despite this, however, the result reportedly represented the country’s second highest level of demand since WGC began documenting such figures. 

Two other countries in the Asian region that experienced a decline were Japan, which was said to have hit an all-time low of 16.3 tonnes, 8 per cent below 2013 figures; and Indonesia, with a 13 per cent decrease to 39.8 tonnes.

Russia also recorded a negative result of 4 per cent to 70.6 tonnes, while demand in Turkey fell 7 per cent to 68.2 tonnes and combined Middle Eastern markets experienced a drop of 8 per cent to 174.1 tonnes.

Regions bucking the global trend

The report did note that a number of markets showed surprisingly positive figures in 2014, including India, the US and the UK.

The Indian Government’s retraction of the 20:80 rule – which had reserved 20 per cent of all gold imports for export purposes, while the remaining 80 per cent would be used for domestic use – was said to have thrown the country’s gold jewellery market “into disarray”. Regardless of this, demand in 2014 reached a record 662.1 tonnes – an 8 per cent increase on 2013 – due to strong wedding and festival-related sales.

Demand in the US increased 9 per cent to 132.4 tonnes, which represented the region’s highest annual result since 2009. Meanwhile, the UK recorded an 18 per cent rise in gold jewellery demand to 27.6 tonnes

Jewellery accounted for 55 per cent of total global gold demand in 2014, which decreased 4 per cent to 3,923.7 tonnes compared to 2013.

In addition to jewellery, the report analysed other factors influencing gold demand including investment, central banks, technology and supply. No specific mention of gold jewellery demand in Australia was made.

Click here to download the report.

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