Gold demand set to rise in 2013

PRECIOUS metals consultancy THOMSON Reuters GFMS expects the gold price to hit an all-time high in the first half of the year.
Gold demand set to rise in 2013 Gold demand set to rise in 2013 Gold demand set to rise in 2013 Gold demand set to rise in 2013 Gold demand set to rise in 2013

The group's annual gold survey released overnight in London said prices would reach an all-time high over the first half of 2013 and recover well into the $US1800 per ounce range because many of the factors that underpinned its bull run to date remained in place.

The gold price has struggled to climb back over the $1700/oz mark so far this year and closed at $1679.70/oz overnight in New York.

The environment for gold investment in 2013 is expected to remain supportive, with negative real interest rates in many countries, rising inflation fears and currency values questioned.

Global head of metals analytics Philip Klapwijk said policies of ultra-low interest rates across western economies would persist in 2013, paving the way for gold demand to increase.

"This will continue to support investor interest in gold in the absence of low-risk investments that can offer acceptable yields," he said.

World investment amounted to 1614 tonnes in 2012, broadly flat year-on-year, but the approximate value of this demand reached a new record of almost $87 billion.

This figure is tipped to rise to $48 billion in the first half of 2013, with a forecast of a 20% increase in volume terms and an almost 30% jump in value terms in comparison with the first half of 2012.

The Thomson Reuters GFMS predicted a 3.6% year-on-year increase in gold demand from the first half of 2012 to the first half of 2013, led by an 8.5% increase in physical bar investment and a 158% increase in implied net investment.

Investors are also inclined to turn to gold due to ongoing central bank buying of the metal, which rose to levels last visited in the mid-1960s.

"Demand in this segment of the market was again driven by several central banks' actions to moderate exposure to the major currencies, particularly in light of ongoing monetary policies and last year's escalating sovereign debt concerns, and we expect that large net purchases by the official sector will continue this year," Klapwijk said.

In spite of high prices, mine production failed to respond meaningfully, rising just 0.2% last year, but in doing so nevertheless hit a new record level, the report said. The outcome was moderated by a handful of mining projects that faced setbacks and widespread strikes in South Africa.

The survey puts gold prices at $1847 per ounce in 2013.


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