According to the World Gold Council (WGC) India and China, two of the largest markets, accounted for almost 80 per cent of the 347.0t decline, marking its weakest level since 2009.
WGC’s annual market report records a seven-year low with global demand falling to 15 per cent to 2,041.6 tonnes in 2016.
With an eight per cent spike in Indian gold prices and a nation-wide jewellers’ strike in the first quarter, amongst a few contributing factors, the demand for gold jewellery ended 2016 22 per cent lower.
The Chinese demand also slid 17 per cent over the year, most of it from October to December.
“Younger Chinese prefer to spend their income on experiences such as travel, rather than on material things, including gold jewelry,” the WGC pointed out. “That trend certainly seemed to play out in October. As the number of domestic tourists soared from the previous year, sales of gold jewelry slumped.”
The U.S. presidential election disrupted jewellery demand in the closing months of 2016, disrupting the usual Q4 spike.
Canada also saw the Toronto stock market drop as gold, metals and materials stocks incurred losses during the last week of January.
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