Switzerland, India, the UK, China and Hong Kong, in descending order, were the world’s top gold importers in 2021.
Gold can be easily sold in numerous markets around the world and it is not difficult to determine its market price at any given time.
Reference prices are generally based on London gold market quotes.
Thus, Switzerland led the largest importers, with foreign purchases of raw, semi-manufactured or powdered gold, of 92,338 million dollars, a year-on-year increase of 5 percent.
Then followed: India ($55.783 million, +154%), United Kingdom ($53.721 million, -39%), China ($43,697, +283%) and Hong Kong, +54 percent).
The Barrick Gold Company explains that gold bullion is held as an asset class for a variety of reasons, including as a store of value and a safeguard against the collapse of paper assets such as stocks, bonds and other financial instruments that are traded in fiat currencies not exchangeable for gold (at a fixed rate) under a “gold standard”, as a hedge against future inflation and for portfolio diversification.
Governments, central banks and other official institutions hold significant amounts of gold as a component of foreign exchange reserves.
Because there are a large number of gold buyers available, Barrick is not dependent on selling gold to any one customer.
During 2021, the gold price ranged from $1,677 per ounce to a high of $1,959 per ounce. The average market price for the year of $1,799 per ounce represented an all-time annual high and an increase of 2% compared to 2020.
During the year, the price of gold remained strong as a result of the financial impacts of Covid-19, which include global economic uncertainty and the expected long-term effects of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures, tempered by a strengthening of the dollar. trade-weighted US currency and a reduction in total global holdings of gold exchange-traded funds.
After the end of the year, the price of gold reached more than 2,000 per ounce for the first time since August 2020 as a result of concerns about inflation and geopolitical risk, highlighted by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which started at the end of February 2022.
Other major importers of gold were: Singapore (14,479 million dollars), the United States (13,892 million), Germany (11,030 million), the United Arab Emirates (10,588 million) and Thailand (8,369 million).
Product manufacturing and bullion investment are two main sources of demand for gold. The introduction of more readily available and liquid gold investment vehicles has made investing in gold even easier.
Within the manufacturing category, there is a wide variety of end uses, the largest of which is jewelry manufacturing. Other manufacturing purposes include official coins, electronics, various industrial and decorative uses, dentistry, medals and medallions.