The year of COVID-19 was also the year of gold.
The pandemic, and all its associated problems, sent gold investors running to buy the yellow metal in 2020 propelling the price to its record high of $2,067 a troy ounce in August.
Record-Breaking Year For Gold Investing
Global investment demand for gold hit a record-breaking total of 1,773 metric tons last year, a 40% increase from the year before, according to new research from the industry organization the World Gold Council.
Gold investments include exchange-traded funds that hold solid bullion such as the SPDR Gold Shares GLD, as well as physical bars and coins.
ETFs across the world added 877 tons during the 12 months through December, bringing the total held in such investment vehicles to 3,752 tons, the report says. That addition compares to a more modest 398 tons in 2019.
Investments in bullion bars and coins rose 3% to total 896 tons versus 871 in 2019.
Investment demand is what drives the price of gold to move higher. And that showed with the SPDR Gold Shares ETF gaining almost 17% in the last 12 months.
Gold Jewelry Demand Ebbs
Predictably, demand for gold jewelry fell during 2020, as did buying by central banks. WGC reports. That shouldn’t worry investors because demand from those quarters tends to be inversely correlated with price. Put another way, when prices rise demand from central banks and for jewelry tends to drop.
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What seems likely in 2021 is a continuation in investment buying of gold either through ETFs or in the form of physical bars/coins. If that happens, and the demand remains high, then we can expect prices for the metal to surge once again. At least that’s what experts in the field are telling me.