Which Are The World’s 5 Highest Gold Consuming Country?

In many countries, the yellow metal is also seen as a form of investment and is passed down from generation to generation to be helpful for a rainy day. Read on to know the list of five countries with the highest demand for gold.

Demand for gold

For millions of years, across all the cultures of the globe, there has existed an obsession with gold which exists till now. This gold obsession is especially seen in countries where gold holds a cultural value. For example, no Indian marriage is ever complete without gold. In many countries, buying gold jewelry at festivals and gifting gold is imperative.

Also Read: Gold trend over 20 years: How to become an intelligent gold buyer. 

For several years, the general ranking of gold consumption by country has been stable, with China and India in the first and second positions, respectively. However, there are a few countries whose demand for gold has been fluctuating a bit. After the economic crisis of 2009, central banks of several countries are constantly trying to expand their gold reserves.

Five Highest Gold Consuming Countries

1. China
China is the leader of the most gold buying country. China is the world’s top bullion buyer. China being at the top of the list should be of little surprise considering its vast population. In 2016, China bought more gold than India and the USA combined purchase. This was primarily because of the increase in income of the upper class. China’s jewelry-related gold demand fell in 2019, and the devastating covid-19. However. Things changed two years later, and the demand for gold picked up the pace. In 2021, the annual demand for gold in China was 675 metric tonnes,6 % more than that in 2019.

But in 2022, there’s a possibility of a slowdown in China’s economic growth. However, according to experts, gold demand can be stable due to gold prices. But, demand for gold coins and bars can rise. In China, the jewelry-related gold demand accounts for 65% of the gold consumption in the country.

2. India
Next on the list of highest gold-consuming countries stands India. China and India have almost the same population; therefore, they are at the top of the list. India’s love for gold dates back a thousand years. Indian households have the most extensive private global gold holdings. Festivals and weddings in India are incomplete without gold; in fact, there are a few festivals like Akshay Tritya and Dhanteras when it is considered auspicious to buy gold. 

In 2020, India's annual demand for gold was 464 metric tonnes. In 2022, it increased to a skyrocket of 797 metric tonnes, the highest in the past five years. This was mainly fueled by jewelry-related gold demand due to festivals and weddings. According to the World Gold Council’s latest reports, the demand for gold in India will likely dip for the remaining months of 2022. And for 2022, the prediction by the World Gold Council for the demand of gold is somewhere between 800 - 850 tonnes. Recently, the Central government imposed a 5% duty hike on gold prices. Still, it is implausible that it will impact the demand for gold in countries with the highest jewelry-related gold demand, like India.

Also Read: Government hikes the import duty on gold by 5%. How will this impact gold prices and jewelers? 

3. United States
Weddings are the main reason for jewelry-related gold demand in the United States. The gold wedding band has been the American tradition for ages. Nowadays, the US gold market is enjoying a high renaissance status with the arrival of several designer gold jewelry brands.

In the first half of 2020, due to the influence of the pandemic on the gold market, the demand for gold was relatively low in the USA. But at the year's end, the gold demand increased after the lockdown restriction. The main reason is the money people saved from travel and dining restrictions during the pandemic. Weddings that were postponed and later rescheduled in 2021 were also a driving force for the increase in demand for gold. Gold jewelry consumption exceeded 149 metric tonnes in 2021 in the United States.

4. United Arab Emirates
In 2022’s Q1, the demand for gold jewelry was at its best in the last five years. One of the reasons for the increase in demand for gold in the UAE is the rising population and the growth of the middle class. In the year 2022, for the people of UAE, gold was a top investment option due to lower gold prices. In 2019 Q4, the gold jewelry consumption in the UAE was 11.5 metric tonnes. It jumped to 12,5 metric tonnes in 2022.

Dubai is famous for being the exclusive global gold jewelry hub. According to a 2011 report, the Emiratis have the world's highest per capita gold consumption. Dubai’s Gold Souk Market hosts about 300 shops selling gold jewelry.

5. Indonesia
Gold holds cultural significance in Indonesia. Indonesia has the world’s largest gold deposit and one of the world’s largest gold mines. In 2021, due to the lockdown triggered due to the Omicron variant, which reached its peak in February 2021, the gold demand fell by 7% to below six metric tonnes.

Most Indonesian households have private gold holdings. However, the World Gold Council predicts that due to the festive buying, the demand for gold will increase in 2022. Of the demand for gold in Indonesia, 60% is the jewelry-related gold demand.

Fall In the Global Demand For Gold

The world Gold Council has predicted that the demand for gold in most major gold markets may drop due to a weaker economy. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the jewelry-related gold demand has significantly decreased. In one of the countries with the highest demand for gold, like china, with the strict lockdowns due to the zero covid policy, the gold demand curve saw a sharp decline.

Also, when gold prices increased due to the Russia-Ukraine war, people postponed buying gold jewelry; thus, the global demand for gold also decreased somewhere. The elevated gold prices are keeping potential buyers on the sideline. While in India, the rate of gold buying also decreased due to the strengthening of the dollar and, weakening of the rupee, heavy import duties on gold. 

The gold market is highly volatile.

Watch The Volatility of the Gold Market, Explained | WSJ if you want to know more about the gold market before making any gold investment.

Final Words

Gold has always been a safe investment option. The universal acceptance of yellow metal is beyond words. Gold is an asset that doesn't rust, so that it can be used for future investments. Gold has cultural, emotional, and financial value all across the globe. In many countries, jewelry-related gold demand is mainly driven due to traditions like religious rituals, marriages, etc.

Also Read: Performance of Gold in 2022: Should you buy, hold or sell your gold investments?


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