Gold Demand Shrinks a Year After the Infamous Market Collapse

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A year after gold experienced its worst quarter in three decades, demand for the yellow metal has taken a hit.

Total demand for the second quarter of 2014 fell 16.1% to 963.8 tons from the same quarter a year ago, when the price of gold fell more than 23%, according to a report by the World Gold Council.

The report tallies central bank purchasing, jewelry, technology, buying of bars and coins and ETF and other similar financial products.

While demand shrank, ETF outflows slowed as compared to the same quarter last year. Second-quarter outflows totaled 39.9 tons, while 2013 witnessed 402.2 tons of ETF outflows.

ETF inflows and outflows correlate closely to the price of gold, which gained nearly 3% in the second quarter of 2014. For comparison, the gold price dropped 23.7% during the quarter in 2013 when gold ETF outflows totaled more than 400 tons.

"Q2 [2013] demand was exceptional both because of the heavy outflows of ETFs, but also because you saw a ton of demand, or many many tons of demand … from the retail sectors," Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the World Gold Council, said in a phone interview from New York.

The steep drop last year in the gold price encouraged heavy buying among Asian consumers who viewed the asset as a cheap purchase. However, with the price climbing 9% in 2014 and holding above $1,300 an ounce, the current levels are making it a less attractive purchase, tamping down demand.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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