India’s demand for gold came to the fore in the fourth quarter of 2012 when it grew 41 per cent in volume terms to 261.9 tonnes (185.5 tonnes) and 54 per cent in value terms to Rs.78,477.5 crore (Rs.51,076.1 crore), according ‘Gold Demand Trends’ released by the World Gold Council (WGC).

It was significant in that both jewellery and investment demand reached their highest levels for six quarters in tonnage terms. Jewellery demand rose 35 per cent at 153 tonnes while investment demand grew 51 per cent to 108.9 tonnes. WGC said that demand for gold in India in 2012 at 864.2 tonnes fell 12 per cent over the previous year. Total demand in value terms, though rose 6 per cent to Rs.247,501.7 crore.

Jewellery demand fell 11 per cent in volume terms to 552 tonnes but rose 8 per cent in value terms to Rs.158,089.5 crore.

Investment demand fell 15 per cent in volume terms to 312.2 tonnes but rose 3 per cent in value to Rs.89,412.2 crore.

The report said 2012 was a year of mixed fortunes for India.

“Following a first-half in which consumers faced headwinds in the form of higher import duties, market turnover over proposed measures to curb gold imports and a sharp rise in the local price of gold, Indian demand staged a strong revival in the second half of the year.’’ WGC said the market continued to thrive during the fourth quarter wedding season and festive period with the highlight being Diwali. Demand was stimulated in December on expectations of the hike in the import duty on gold.

Global demand

Global demand for gold in 2012 was a record value of $236.4 billion although in volume terms, it declined 4 per cent to 4,405.5 tonnes as an increase in demand from institutional investors and central banks only partly offset a year-on-year decline in consumer demand, WGC said.

In the fourth quarter, global demand rose 4 per cent in volume to 1,195.9 tonnes but in value terms, it rose 6 per cent to a record $66.2 billion.