☛ Want the latest procurement and supply chain news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Supply Management Daily
18 November 2011 | Adam Leach
Dentists turned to cheaper
materials while technology buyers were left to bear record high prices as $25.6
billion (£16.2 billion) was spent on the commodity in the third quarter.
The World Gold Council Gold Demand Trends report, published yesterday, found dentists were
priced out of the market and the technology sector was forced to spend record
amounts as an increase of investor interest in the prized commodity drove demand
up by six per cent over the past three months.
Marcus Grubb, managing director
of investment at the World Gold Council, said he sees no signs of global demand
letting up. “It is likely that investors will continue to seek protection from
economic uncertainty, which shows no sign of abating. The long-term
fundamentals for gold remain strong with a diverse and growing demand base
coupled with constrained supply side activity.”
As a result of inflated prices, demand
in dentistry dropped to record lows as the industry opted for cheaper
materials. The report said: “Gold used in dental applications is estimated to
have fallen 9 per cent year-on-year to a new low as sharply higher gold prices
for the period intensified the ongoing substitution to base metals and
Demand in the technology sector,
where gold is used in the manufacturing of computers, mobile phones, semiconductors
and various other products, rose modestly but the prices paid spiked. The
report estimated technology companies spent a record $6.6 billion (£4.2
billion) on gold in the three-month period.
While the overall amount of
demand in the tech sector was steady, the source of it changed significantly.
The report said: “With Japanese industrial production having contracted every
month since the devastating earthquake and tsunami, strong gains in Chinese
demand were chiefly responsible for the modest rise in this segment.”