Demand for gold bars and coins in the United States hit 113 metric tons in 2023, an increase of five percent. It was the third highest year of gold bar and coin investment in U.S. history, according to the World Gold Council.
Buying was especially strong in October and November amid a rise in geopolitical tensions, following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and the ensuing war, and continued fighting between Russia and Ukraine.
Investment demand in the Middle East reached a record of 114 tons, up 23 percent. Most of the increase came from Egypt, which borders the Gaza strip. As the Egyptian pound depreciated sharply, buying of gold rose.
Turkish demand for gold bars and coins nearly doubled from 2022 to a record 160 tons. Turkey has been suffering from explosive inflation for several years, which has accelerated demand for gold in the country. Annual inflation was 65 percent at the end of 2023 and was forecast by the central bank to rise to 70 percent by May.
In India, bar and coin demand rose seven percent to reach 185 tons. Buying was especially strong during the fourth quarter, with demand running more than 60 percent above average.
China, the world’s largest market for gold, saw a 28 percent leap in demand for gold bars and coins from depressed COVID-related levels in 2022. Full year buying was 280 tons, as demand hit a record during the second half.Europe, though, saw a drop in physical gold investment, which the World Gold Council attributed to a sharp rise in interest rates.
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