World gold demand fell 3% in the fourth quarter of 2002 (when compared to the previous fourth quarter) as rising prices deterred jewelry buyers, the metal’s biggest users, the World Gold Council said in its quarterly Gold Demand Trends report. In value terms, demand was up 12% than in the previous year.
Demand dropped to 1,083.6 metric tons from 1,116.9 tons a year earlier, the London-based group said. Jewelers, who account for four-fifths of demand, used 3.6% less gold, better than the third quarter’s 4.3% decline. Third-quarter jewelry demand totaled 901.3 metric tons.
In the U.S., sales tonnage fell in the fourth quarter fell by 2.4% to 161.3 metric tons. With a 24% increase in tonnage in the fourth quarter, India is the one consumer of gold at 193.5 metric tons. Demand in Europe fell 5.7% to 133.8 metric tons during the same period. Demand also fell throughout the rest of the world, with the exception of Chine where it rose 1%.
The London-based WGC in its report said price volatility will stall a recovery in jewelry demand for gold during the first quarter of 2003. Demand will rebound once the price of gold starts to stabilize.