Gold teeth demand at all time low

18 November 2011

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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 palladium.”

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.”

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