Demand for gold jewellery rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 on the back of steady demand in key markets, the World Gold Council (WGC) revealed.
Data from the WGC’s Gold Demand Trends 2021 showed annual jewellery consumption grew 52 per cent last year, fully recovering 2020 losses. In value terms, demand reached US$123 billion, matching a record achieved in 2013.
“2021 was a redemption story for global jewellery demand as it recovered fully from the blows inflicted by Covid in 2020. Demand by consumers reached 2,124 tonnes, lifted by an exceptional fourth quarter with the release of pent-up demand in India being a key factor,” said WGC.
Jewellery fabrication was up 67 per cent to 2,221t – the highest since 2018 – in response to strong consumer demand and inventory building of 97t during the year. Replenished inventories compensated for a 74t stock depletion in 2020 when the jewellery trade was heavily impacted by the pandemic.
Strong growth in the first three quarters of 2021 was largely due to a lower base in 2020 but Q4 can be compared fairly to Q4 2020, which had been robust. “This makes the 40 per cent year-on-year increase in the most recent quarter all the more impressive,” noted WGC.
Overall gold jewellery demand in Q4 2021 reached 713t – the highest since Q2 2013. India largely fuelled Q4 growth as easing of Covid restrictions coupled with higher number of vaccinations and continued economic recovery lifted consumer sentiment.
Economic rebound from 2020 and a relatively stable gold price during the year meanwhile supported demand in China.
India recorded a 93 per cent increase in 2021 gold jewellery demand to 610.9t while China saw a 63 per cent increase to 674.6t.
According to WGC, jewellery demand in markets across the globe – almost without exception – was stronger year on year due to continued economic recovery.