2004 Market Review & Yearly Summary [Gold & Other Precious Metals]

The top ten mining companies rated by the GFMS (Gold Field Mineral Services) in 2004 included Newmont from the US with 211.8 tonnes of gold that made up close to 9 % of the global gold supply for that year followed by Anglo Gold of South Africa with slightly more than 180 tonnes of gold (7.4 % of total global supply). Other top gold producing companies included Barrick Gold (Canada) with slightly more than 154 tonnes of gold that accounted for 6.3 % of the total global supply followed by the South African mining company Gold Fields Limited that produced close to 130 tonnes of gold accounting for 5.2 % of the total global supply for gold.

According to a report released by the World Gold Council, the total amount of gold mined in 2004 was close to 3164 tonnes, out of which nearly 82.5 % or 2,610 tonnes were channelled into the jewellery industry whilst only 411 tonnes was used for industrial purposes. The remainder 4.5 % of the total gold production for that year was absorbed by investment factions (142 tonnes). However what was interesting is the fact that the bulk of the total gold that was channelled into the jewellery industry was consumed by India. The total jewellery consumption in India for 2004 was almost 22 % or close to 580 tonnes of gold and the closest match was Italy that absorbed about 300 tonnes of gold. India’s consumption of gold has always been the highest among the jewellery consuming countries which are India, the US, China and Turkey.

Gold for investment consumption is relatively much lesser; nevertheless, what is interesting is the fact that it is OTC trading that has a bigger influence on the price of gold rather than the gold demand. Thus, despite the fact that gold consumption for jewellery is higher, it is how investors ‘work the market’ that is more influential on precious metal prices globally.