Latest gold demand figures show improvements in US, however.

The World Gold Council (WGC) has today released its gold demand trends for Q3, with the UK market exhibiting a decline in demand for gold jewellery.

The latest figures outline that there has been further structural decline in Europe, with the UK posting a decline of 11%, while gold jewellery demand in the UK was 12% weaker year-on-year, sitting at £116.5m.

Advertisement

UK gold consumers are said to have responded to the economic headwinds, with sales falling slightly owing to high, but not record, gold prices.

Assay Office figures showed a year-on-year decline of 12% for gold hallmarking in Q3, while the 22ct gold segment exhibited growth of 7.5%.

Global Q3 gold demand totalled 1,084 tonnes, worth $57.6 billion (£32.3bn). Demand was up 10% on Q2 2012, but down 11% year-on-year owing to a clear drop in coin and bar purchasing.

Overall jewellery demand was down 2% from Q3 2011 figures to 448.8 tonnes, worth $23.8 billion (£15bn), while the slowdown in China is said to have affected global gold demand.

Jewellery demand in China fell by 5% in Q3 2012, with so-called middle class purchases of 18ct gold among the worst casualties, while the decline for 24ct gold remained relatively modest. A notable slowdown in the expansion of jewellery retail networks has also occurred on Q3.

The jewellery sector was up 8% compared to Q2, but 2% down year-on-year with declines in China, Saudi Arabia, the US and Europe.

Hong Kong was one of the only markets where jewellery demand held above its five-year quarterly average, despite the market being down 9% on Q3 2011.

The pace of US jewellery demand slowed in Q3 to 5%, the smallest year-on-year contraction since Q4 2005, while demand trends showed that lower carats of gold were increasing in popularity, as were alternative metals to gold.