Gold has held mankind enraptured since time immemorial. It has been prized for its beauty, easy workability, indestructibility, and value.
The average global demand for gold in the past 10 years has been mainly for jewellery at 76 per cent, followed by industrial applications of 14 per cent and 10 per cent for investors. The available gold supply is from new mining, reclaimed scrap, official or new bank sales and gold loans made from official reserves.
There are five international gold trading centres: New York, London, Zurich, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
India, world’s number one buyer of gold!
The craze for the yellow metal in India is phenomenal. It has traditionally been the world’s largest consumer of gold. India buys an average of 800 tonnes of gold every year and its total jewellery market is worth more than $20 billion.
However, in recent times the demand for gold in India has waned slightly, with the price of the precious metal zooming to record highs. Yet, the country remains the largest buyer of gold, at 770 tonnes in 2007.
China: 2nd largest buyer; number one producer
Beijing has gold holdings of 1,054 tons, up from 600 tons in 2002, and still wants to buy more gold.
China produced 280.5 tons of gold in 2007, making it the world’s number one producer of the precious metal.
China is also the world’s second largest buyer of gold. It bought 328 tons of gold in 2007.
USA: 3rd largest buyer; 4th largest producer
The United States of America is the world’s third highest buyer of gold. In 2007, it purchased 275 tons of the yellow metal.
However, the US is also the world’s fourth largest producer of gold. In 2007, it produced 240 tons of gold.
Turkey: 4th largest buyer
Turkey is the world’s fourth largest buyer of gold. In 2007, it bought 250 tons of the precious metal.
Saudi Arabia: 5th largest buyer
Saudi Arabia purchased tons of gold in 2007, making it the world’s fifth largest buyer of gold.
UAE: 6th largest buyer
The United Arab Emirates is the sixth largest gold-buyer at 107.2 tons (figures pertain to 2007).
Russia: 7th largest buyer; 6th largest producer
The world’s seventh largest buyer of gold is Russia. In 2007, Moscow procured 85.6 tons of gold.
Russia is also a big producer of gold. In fact, it is the world’s sixth largest gold-producer. In 2007, it produced 169.2 tons of gold.
Vietnam: 8th largest buyer
Vietnam bought 77.5 tons of gold in 2007, making it the world’s eighth largest gold-buyer.
Egypt: 9th largest buyer
Egypt follows in the ninth position. In 2007, it procured 69 tons of gold making it one of the biggest gold-buyers in the world.
Italy: 10th largest buyer
Italy is the tenth largest buyer of gold in the world. In 2007, it purchased 59.2 tons of the yellow metal.