The global gold market continues to remain highly lucrative through 2018, and the market continues to be dominated by some of the world’s largest gold producing countries — who are also some of the world’s largest gold-consuming markets. Despite the ups and downs of global gold demand and gold prices over the recent years, gold is still well-acknowledged as one of the most popular jewelry materials and investment commodities around the world, therefore attracting a huge number of buyers and traders in the global market.
According to the latest report from Thomson Reuters, the global gold market has witnessed a significant growth in both gold production and gold demand over the last several decades — gold production surged from just 1,518 tonnes in 1917 to 3,169 tons in 2016 (and peaked in 2015 at 3,217 tons), representing a growth rate of 1.5% per annum by far. Meanwhile, global gold demand was estimated at US$127 billion in 2016.
Gold production is spread all over the world, but China has been maintaining the title of the largest gold producing country in the world since 2006. Today, China accounts for over 15% of the global gold production, while Asia produces 22% of the world’s total gold production; Central and South America together accounts for 17% of the world’s gold output; North America contributes around 15%; Africa produces 20% and the CIS region represents 14% of the global gold production. Apart from mining production, gold recycling also accounts for one-third of the total gold products output every year.
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When it comes to price, the global gold price skyrocketed from averagely US$ 696.77 per troy ounce in 2007 to US$1668.69 per ounce in 2012, driven by the global financial crisis. As global economies began to slowly recover from the crisis the price of gold decreased. In 2015, the average price of gold was US$ 1159.8 marking a 30% drop in 4 years. However, it is expected that the gold price will gradually increase again in 2017-2018, due to the uncertainty of the world economy and rising amount of safe haven investments.
|Rank||Country||Metric Tons of Gold Production|
|4||The United States||209|
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
The USGS estimates that China mined 455 metric tons of gold in 2016. Since gold began to be mined in the 1970s, gold production in China has rapidly increased. China overtook South Africa in 2007 as the number one in the world’s largest gold producing countries. China’s major gold production regions are generally located in the east of the country, in the eastern provinces of Shandong, Henan, Fujian, and Liaoning. Most of the gold mined in China is domestically consumed as jewelry. The demand for gold in most of the western countries has decreased over the last decade while China’s demand has increased dramatically. Today, China is also the largest gold consumer in the world, representing 27.9% of global gold consumption, ahead of India’s share of 26.5%.
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Australia is the world’s second-largest producer of gold, mining an estimated 270 metric tons of gold in the same year. Mining is a primary industry in Australia and a major contributor to the country’s economic growth. With the world’s highest gold reserves of 9,500 tons, gold mining is playing an essential part in Australia’s overall mining industry, since gold is now the country’s third-largest export earner after iron ore and coal.
Russia, which is the world’s third-largest gold producing country, is also one of the top gold buyers in the world. Its production remained steady in 2016, achieving an output of 250 metric tons but the country seeks to expand production in gold to 400 tons by 2030. According to U.S.G.S, Russia holds 8,000 metric tons of gold reserves, making it the world’s second highest gold reserves after Australia.
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