Gold demand in 2013 was placed at 3,756.1 tonnes valued at $170.4 billion.
"Consumers generated exceptional levels of demand, with jewellery at its highest since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 and investment in small bars and coins hitting a record high. This was in contrast to large-scale outflows from ETFs, due to tactical western investors liquidating their positions as US economic sentiment improved. Central banks made healthy purchases of 368.6 tonnes, the fourth consecutive year of positive demand. The net result was a 15 per cent decline in overall gold demand from 2012," the World Gold Council said.
Central banks across the globe purchased gold for the fourth consecutive year in 2013, adding a net 368.6 tonnes to global official reserves.
Global annual jewellery demand was 2,209.5 tonnes, up 17 per cent compared with 2012. This was the highest level since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.
The use of gold in technological applications benefitted from the lower gold price and improving economic outlook. Technology demand was stable at 404.8 tonnes.
Annual gold supply declined by 2% to 4,339.9 tonnes as a decline in the supply of recycled gold outweighed an increase in gold mine production.
Despite sharp increase in the demand for physical gold, the prices of gold dropped for the first time in 2013 in 12 years. Gold prices have been stagnant in the last few quarters.