The Gold Report: The World Gold Council, which gets its numbers from Thomson Reuters GFMS, reports that total gold demand in Q2/14 fell by 15% versus the same period in 2013. Furthermore, physical bar and official coin demand were basically cut in half while jewelry demand fell by 217 tons or 30%. What do you make of all of that?
Christos Doulis: Clearly, there has been less enthusiasm for owning gold in recent years. A lot of that has to do with the concept of gold as a safe haven. Six years ago, when the financial crisis was in full swing, gold was $800900/ounce ($800900/oz), but on its way to $1,900/oz in September 2011. The fears associated with that period have largely receded and we're seeing a decrease in both gold investment and jewelry demand, which is often a form of savings in non-Western nations. We're seeing a reaction in demand because the fear component that drives interest in the gold space is down significantly.
TGR: Meanwhile, central bank gold purchases were up 28% year-over-year. Is that the silver lining?
CD: I'm a goldbug in that I think everything that has happened since 2008 is ultimately positive for precious metals prices. We've had a massive money printing exercise. The markets are running because there's so much money and the money has to go somewhere. The fact that central banks are buying gold tells me that goldthe currency between states and central banksis still regarded as an important part of the reserve mix. While the demand for gold among general investors may have decreased during the last few years, the policy makers in the central banks are well aware of the seeds that have been sown in a fiat-currency race to the bottom.
TGR: With the U.S. economy seemingly strengthening, gold seems destined to trend lower in the near term. What's your view? [Read more...]