suspends Gold orders
by The Australian
FEARS of the
unknown long-term effects from the global
financial crisis have sparked a new gold rush.
With retail and wholesale clients around the
world stocking up on the precious metal, the
Perth Mint has been forced to suspend orders.
As the World Gold Council reported that the
dollar demand for gold reached a quarterly
record of $US32 billion ($50.73 billion) in the
third quarter, industry insiders said the race
to secure physical gold had reached an intensity
that had never been witnessed before.
Perth Mint sales and marketing director Ron
Currie said the unprecedented demand had forced
the Mint to cease orders until January, with
staff working seven days a week, 24-hour days,
over three shifts to meet orders.
He said Europe was leading the demand, with
Russia, Ukraine, Middle East and US all buying
-- making up 80 per cent of its sales. One
European client purchased 30,000 ounces for $33
"We have never seen this before and are working
right at capacity. And we are seeing it from
clients in the shop buying one ounce, right up
to 30,000 ounces from overseas clients," Mr
Robert Jaggard, manager of bullion and rare
coins dealer Jaggards, said business had picked
up strongly and he expected it to increase
"All around the world there has been a heavy run
on physical gold and there is a shortage of
supply," he said.
Mr Jaggard, who has been dealing in gold for 40
years and is an agent for the Perth Mint, said
some clients were buying up to $1million worth
of gold, paying a premium above the spot price.
Late yesterday afternoon, spot gold in Sydney
was trading at $US747.30 an ounce, up $US8.15 on
Thursday's local close.
"Professional business people who have
previously bought small amounts now want more
gold because they are suffering in other
markets," Mr Jaggard said.
At a conference this week in Munich, delegates
were lined up 30-deep to purchase physical gold.
And reports out of the Middle East suggested
that there had been unprecedented gold buying in
Saudi Arabia during the first half of November,
with an estimated $US3.5 billion purchased in
The World Gold Council, releasing its global
demand trends yesterday, said identifiable
investment demand, which incorporates demand for
gold through exchange-traded funds and bars and
coins, was the biggest contributor to overall
demand during the quarter. It was up to $US10.7
billion, double last year's levels.
The figures showed retail investment demand rose
121 per cent to 232 tons in the third quarter,
with strong bar and coin buying reported in
Swiss, German and US markets.
The quarter also witnessed widespread reports of
gold shortages among bullion dealers across the
globe, as investors searched for a haven.
Overall, quarter three saw Europe reach an
all-time record 51 tons of bar and coin buying.
France became a net investor in gold for the
first time since the early 1980s.
World Gold Council chief executive James Burton
said gold's universal role as a store of value
had shone through during the quarter, helping
attract investors and consumers to all forms of
"The rise in demand for gold bars and coins has
been impressive," he said.
Demand in India, the largest market for gold,
recovered during the third quarter, encouraged
by lower gold prices, a good monsoon and the
onset of the festive season. At 250 tons, total
consumer demand was 31 per cent higher than the
same period last year. In value terms, demand
hit the record quarterly sum of $US5 billion.