This slide was matched by the price-driven slump in consumer demand, the World Gold Council reports.
The WGC says 2019 was broadly a year of two distinct halves: resilience/growth across most sectors in the first half of the year contrasted with widespread year-on-year declines in the second.
"Global demand in the second half was down 10% on the same period of 2018 as year-on-year losses in fourth quarter compounded those from the third quarter, notably in jewellery demand and retail bar and coin investment. Central bank demand also slowed in the second half - down 38% in contrast with the first half's 65% increase.
"But this was partly due to the sheer scale of buying in the preceding few quarters and annual purchases nevertheless reached a remarkable 650.3t - the second highest level for 50 years. ETF investment inflows bucked the general trend.
"Investment in these products held up strongly throughout the first nine months of the year, reaching a crescendo of 256.3t in the third quarter. Momentum then subsided in the fourth quarter, with inflows slowing to 26.8t (-76% year-on-year). Technology saw modest declines throughout the year, although electronics demand staged a minor recovery in the fourth quarter. The annual supply of gold increased 2% to 4,776.1t. This growth came purely from recycling and hedging, as mine production slipped 1% to 3,436.7t."