As China continues to expand its in- fluence in the region, India must navigate a delicate bal- ance between diplomacy and safeguarding its national security interests.
The global demand for gold fell by 6 per cent to 1,147.5 tonnes during the third quarter of 2023 amid slowing demand for bars and coins and reduced buying from central banks, according to the World Gold Council’s (WGC) report released on Tuesday.
India, the world’s second-largest gold-consuming nation next to China, bucked the trend to clock a double digit growth of 10 per cent in purchases of the yellow metal to 210.2 tonne in Q3 compared to 191.7 tonnes in the same period last year.
China posted a marginal rise in gold purchases to 247 tonnes in Q3 this year compared to 242.7 tonnes in the same period last year.
Pakistan, which is going through an economic crisis, posted an 11 per cent decline in gold demand to 11.6 tonnes during the quarter from 13 tonnes in the year-ago period. However, neighbouring Sri Lanka’s gold demand rose eight-fold to 2.4 tonnes from 0.3 tonnes.
According to the WGC report, the world’s jewellery demand for gold dropped by 1 per cent to 578.2 tonnes in the third quarter of this year from 582.6 tonnes last year.
“The environment of high gold prices and economic uncertainty was a key driver of the year-on-year decline, particularly in some of the more price-sensitive markets in Asia and the Middle East,” the WGC report said.
Global bar and coin demand fell 14 per cent to 296.2 tonnes during the third quarter from 344.2 tonnes a year ago, it added.
The year-on-year decline in bar and coin investment in the third quarter was due to certain pockets of lower demand, notably in Europe (Germany in particular), the US, Turkey, Australia and Iran, the report added.
“Investment demand for gold ETFs, bars and coins was anaemic in Q3. At 157 tonnes, investment was only half of its five-year quarterly average of 315 tonnes,” the report said.
Gold demand for usage in technology fell three per cent to 75.3 tonnes from 77.3 tonnes because demand in the electronics industry remained relatively weak, although some sectors showed signs of recovery. According to the report, central banks’ gold buying also declined 27 per cent to 337.1 tonnes in the third quarter from 458.8 tonnes in the year-ago period.
On the other hand, the total gold supply increased 6 per cent to 1,267.1 tonnes during the third quarter from 1,190.6 tonnes last year. Mine production hit a record 971 tonnes in Q3; recycled gold rose year-on-year to 289 tonnes in the said period, according to the report.