World gold sales slip for first time in 3 years
HONG KONG (AP) - Global gold sales slipped in 2012 for the first time in three years as the biggest central bank purchases in half a century weren't able to offset a decline in demand from India, an industry group said Thursday.
The World Gold Council said that 4,405.5 metric tons were sold in 2012, down 176.8 metric tons, or 4 per cent, from 4,582.3 metric tons in 2011. It's the first annual decline since 2009.
However, the value of gold sold last year rose to an all-time high of US$236.4 billion (S$ 292 billion) because of the rising price for the yellow metal, which rose 6 percent to an average of US$1,669 per ounce.
The council said gold demand in India, the world's biggest market, fell 12 per cent last year to 864.2 metric tons. Demand fell 36 per cent in the first half of 2012 as Indian buyers cut back because of new import duties, higher local gold prices and market turmoil over government plans to curb imports.