Consumers in India and China remain the biggest fans of the yellow metal, spending $46 billion (Dh168.96 billion) and $38 billion respectively on gold jewellery, bars and coins last year.Dubai Consumers in India and China remain the biggest fans of the yellow metal, spending $46 billion (Dh168.96 billion) and $38 billion respectively on gold jewellery, bars and coins last year.
China and India also generated 55 per cent of global jewellery demand and 49 per cent of global gold demand. According to the World Gold Council, India's consumers acquired 933.4 tonnes of gold in 2011 while the Chinese amassed a total of 769.8 tonnes.
The volume of gold purchased in China was up 20 per cent year-on-year, as a result of increases in both jewellery and investment spend. The largest rise was in investment, showing a 69 per cent increase.
Overall, global demand for gold last year rose to 4,067 tonnes, the highest since 1997, generating an estimated $205.5 billion in sales. It's the first time that global sales have exceeded $200 billion. The main driver for the increase was the investment sector, where annual demand was 1,640.7 tonnes, up five per cent on the previous record set in 2010 and with a value of $82.9 billion.
Another pre-eminent market for investment demand is Europe. The region posted its seventh consecutive annual gain to 374.8 tonnes. Germany and Switzerland were identified as the main drivers of growth in the region, as the Eurozone remains in turmoil and the need for asset protection continues to be a priority.