Gold is the most malleable metal. It is dense, soft and ductile and its properties remain without tarnishing when exposed to air or water.

Applications

Due to its unique properties and luster, gold has found applications in fabrication, jewelry, coinage and dentistry.

jewelery
Jewelry fabrication
increased by 13% in 2017, primarily due to a recovery from India.
electronics-icon
Electronics
use of gold increased 5% in 2017, a three year high due to a rise in gold used in bonding wire production.
Coin Stack Icon
Official coin fabrication
decreased by 10%, marking the lowest level of fabrication in ten years.
Dentistry Icon
Dentistry
demand for gold was 3% lower in 2017, the lowest in over a decade. Japan remains the largest market in the dentistry industry, accounting for 50% of global demand.
Decorative Icon
Other industrial & decorative
demand increased 3% in 2017, driven higher predominately by a rise in offtake from Europe and Asian markets.

Supply & Demand

Supply (Tonnes) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Mine Production 3,076 3,180 3,222 3,251 3,247
Scrap 1,303 1,159 1,180 1,306 1,210
Net Hedging Supply -39 108 21 32 -41
Total Supply 4,340 4,446 4,422 4,590 4,415
Demand (Tonnes)          
Jewelry 2,726 2,559 2,464 1,953 2,214
(+) Industrial Fabrication 428 411 376 366 380
Of which Electronics 306 297 267 264 277
Of which Dental & Medical 36 34 32 30 29
Of which Other Industrial 85 80 76 71 73
Net Official Sector 409 466 443 269 366
(+) Retail Investment 1,871 1,162 1,160 1,043 1,028
Of which Bars 1,444 886 875 786 780
Of which Coins 426 276 284 257 248
Physical Demand 5,434 4,598 4,442 3,630 3,988
Physical Surplus/Deficit -1094 -151 -20 959 427
ETF Inventory Build -879 -155 -117 539 177
Exchange Inventory Build -98 1 -48 86 0
Net balance -117 3 146 334 250

2017 Gold Demand (Tonnes)

 


 

Total physical demand increased by 10% in 2017, largely due to a return to growth in jewelry fabrication and official sector demand.

3,988 Tonnes
Total Physical Demand
Largely
Supported by
3,247 Tonnes
Mine Production

Gold Supply (Tonnes)

 

Mine Production by Region (Tonnes)

 

 

Global mine production in 2017 was relatively unchanged last year. Russia and Suriname saw the largest production increases led by ramp-ups at the countries’ largest operations, while higher grades and fresh ounces were behind strong gains in Canada.

Gold Production by Country (Tonnes)

2016

 

2017

 

Investment

Total identifiable investment, which includes physical bar investment, coins and changes to ETF holdings, posted a 24% annual decrease to reach 1,205 tonnes, as higher ETF flows were offset by weaker coin and bar offtake.

Global official coin demand – Coin demand declined by 10% year-on-year in 2017, marking the lowest level of fabrication since 2007.

Physical bar investment - Demand for bullion bars decreased by less than 1% year-on-year to 780 tonnes in 2017.

Exchange Traded Funds - ETF holdings increased by 8% in 2017 to 2,262 tonnes at the end of the year. This performance was the result of strengthened gold prices due to geopolitical tensions over North Korea and the accelerated depreciation of the dollar index.

Source: GFMS Gold Survey 2018