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Gold “Fever” In Asia And Central Bank Demand: “Earthquake” In The Gold Market

The massive increase in demand from Asia is sustainable. Especially in China where gold ownership was banned from 1950 to 2003 and therefore per capital consumption of gold is increasing from a near zero base. Besides this Asian demand, there is also the continuing and growing central bank demand. Central banks were net sellers for most of the last 30 years and became net buyers in 2010 due to monetary and systemic concerns. The analysis piece reports something experts on the gold market have been saying for some time, which is that “central banks have to tread lightly, as sizable purchases could jolt the relatively small gold market.” “Last year, global gold supply, including mine production and scrap, stood at 4,108.2 tonnes, which translates into about $210 billion at current price.” Meanwhile, “the amount of U.S. debt held by the public stood at $9.75 trillion by July 19, doubling from five years earlier -- adding nearly $1 trillion a year, based on data from the U.S. Treasury Department.” Dong Tao, chief regional economist at Credit Suisse said that "gold supply simply doesn't grow as fast as China's foreign reserves. Only the increase in U.S. debt can match that." Central banks could raise gold holdings marginally, he said, but sizeable purchases could cause an “earthquake” in the market.

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