Azerbaijan produced a total of 2,111.8 kilograms of precious metals last year, including 1,872.5 kilograms of gold and 239.3 kilograms of silver.
GOLD PRICES held steady against the US Dollar on Monday morning in London, as China's stock market reversed earlier losses but Eurozone equities erased opening gains. Gold priced in the Euro edged 0.5% higher as the single currency ticked lower on the FX market, but continued to hold stronger against the Yuan from last week's 'devaluation' by Beijing. After the LBMA Gold Price – the world's benchmark daily price – saw heavy volume set the highest weekly finish since mid-July on Friday at $1118.25 per ounce, interest eased Monday morning with the AM auction 'fixing' one Dollar lower in London. Silver prices held firm above last week's finish, but traded 2% below Friday's spike to 1-month highs at $15.62 per ounce. "Only by involving Chinese financial institutions in the global gold fix mechanism," says Beijng-approved news-site China Daily, quoting Roland Wang at market-development organization the World Gold Council, "and by advancing [Yuan-denominated contracts] can China increase its gold price-fixing power accordingly." Further liberalization of China's domestic gold exchanges will see the world's largest mining and consumer nation "taking its place" in the world market, says Wang. Trading in Shanghai's 'international' gold contract expanded on Monday, but volumes stayed at one-seventh their average size since launching 12 months ago, having spiked and then fallen to zero between spring and summer 2015. A report from the World Gold Council last year said "as much as 1,000 tonnes of gold may have been used for financing deals in China," notes Reuters columnist Clyde Russell today. "If this gold is released back into the market, it will cut the need for imports into China, which would be bearish for gold prices." Shanghai gold prices held steady against the Yuan on Monday, edging their premium above London prices – effectively the incentive offered to importers – up to $2.60 per ounce, some 25% above the last 12 months' average, as the Chinese currency crept higher again on the FX market. Recovering one-third of last week's sharp drop against the Dollar, sparked by the People's Bank changing its FX policy from a fixed exchange rate to market prices, the Yuan still held almost 5% weaker against the Euro. "Make no mistake," writes Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards, "this is the start of something big, something ugly. "The West has been heaving a sigh of relief over the past few months that deflation pressures have abated somewhat...[But] deflation has only been intensifying in Asia and China [has been] forced by economic reality to participate in competitive devaluation." US crude oil contracts today hit new 6-year lows beneath $42 per barrel, while US Treasury yields fell back towards last week's 2-month lows at 2.18% on the 10-year bond. After the Athens parliament on Friday approved 'austerity' measures for Greece to get a third bail-out from its Eurozone partners, German chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday she expects the International Monetary Fund "to take part" in financing the deal. The IMF "knew" in April that Greece was effectively bankrupt, and needed some of its debt written off, claims ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on his blog, also pointing to a New York Times report.
India is the largest importer of gold in the world, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry.
For the first fortnight of this month, the import tariff value of gold and silver stood at %354 per 10 grams and $498 per kg, respectively.
GOLD BULLION rose near $1120 per ounce in London trade Friday, heading for only the second weekly rise in 8 as China followed this week's Yuan devaluation by reporting additional gold reserves for the second time in a month. The Yuan rose slightly on the FX market, recouping a little of the week's earlier 3.5% drop after the People's Bank of China (PBoC) moved Tuesday to a 'market determined' reference rate for its currency. Asian shares held flat, but Shanghai equities closed the week almost 6% higher from last Friday as China's securities regulator said Beijing may reduce its recent intervention to support the market after this summer's near 30% plunge. Eurozone stock markets fell again, with Germany's Dax index dropping 4.5% for the week as the single currency extended its rise on the FX market. Data from the PBoC – central bank in the world's heaviest gold consuming nation – today said it bought 19.3 tonnes for its bullion reserves during July, reaching above 1677 tonnes in total. "The news is bullish at first glance," reckons Carsten Fritsch, commodities analyst at Germany's Commerzbank, "but the monthly volume of 19 tonnes is maybe less than some would have expected." Many Western analysts and pundits were disappointed by China's gold reserves update last month, when it said the state's bullion holdings had grown from 1054 tonnes to 1668 tonne since April 2009. Equaling average monthly buying of 8.2 tonnes, that moved China back into 5th place amongst sovereign state holders, ahead of Russia. Moscow's average monthly gold buying over the last 6 years has been just below 10 tonnes, taking its gold bullion reserves to 1273 tonnes on end-July's data. Reporting monthly "is a tough standard," the Financial Times quotes Matthew Turner in London at Australia's Macquarie investment bank, "historically [applied] largely [by] the developed economies. "The Chinese devaluation is the right [news] to focus on for the gold market," Turner also tells Bloomberg. "When central bankers lose control, as the PBoC appeared to do this week, gold tends to do well." "Gold rose [this week]," says New York analyst Dane Davis at bullion market maker Barclays bank, "because some investors initially thought the [US] Fed would delay [its] rate increase after China devalued. "But that seems to have passed." Over in Hong Kong, "The Yuan devaluation is making people uncertain about the economy," Reuters quotes Ronald Leung at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers. "If gold prices hold at current levels, maybe some physical demand will come back a bit." Bullion premiums above London prices on the Shanghai Gold Exchange – which had spiked to $6.50 per ounce on this week's Yuan devaluation – today eased back to historical norms at $2.50 on quieter trading volumes. Gold priced in Euros meantime neared the weekend at €1003 per ounce – barely 0.5% higher from last Friday compared with a 2.2% gain for Dollar investors and a 5.2% rise in terms of the Yuan. One Chinese export manager today called the PBoC's new currency policy "a big bonus", reports the official Xinhua news agency. "The cheaper Yuan means our products are cheaper," says another. "We are trying to take advantage of the depreciation and seek a stronger footing overseas."
Gold jewellery consumption declined 3.26% to 412.29 tons in the first half of 2015 as compared to 426.17 tons recorded in the corresponding period last year.
GOLD BULLION dropped $10 per ounce from new 4-week highs hit overnight at $1126 on Thursday as the Chinese Yuan fell for a third day on the FX market but commodity and world equity prices rebounded. Silver prices held firmer, ending London trade just 10 cents shy of an earlier 1-month high at $15.60 per ounce, some 8% above late July's 6-year low. After switching the Yuan's daily reference point to market- rather than government-determined rates this week, there is "no basis for persistent and substantial devaluation," said People's Bank deputy-governor Zhang Xiaohui at a news conference. China's additional central-bank gold bullion reserves – announced in July and the world's fifth largest – are "supportive for the gold market," says the latest Gold Demand Trends from market-development organization the World Gold Council. "After a relatively subdued H1," it goes on – reporting a 12% year-on-year drop for world gold demand between April and June – "reasons for cautious optimism [include] the onset of the festival and wedding season in India...and tentative signs [of better private-sector] appetite in China." Gold bullion contracts in Shanghai held flat on strong trade Thursday in Yuan terms, but cut the premium to London quotes from $6 to around $1.80 per ounce as Asian and notably European stock markets rallied hard. "Today's further 1.1% weakening in the Renminbi’s reference rate is no longer a shock for the market," says Chinese-owned ICBC Standard Bank. "A degree of calm has returned to the base metals complex" after this week's fresh plunge to new multi-year lows. "A Yuan devaluation of even 5%," says Australian investment bank Macquarie's analyst Matthew Turner, is very small in comparison to the swings in Yuan metal prices we have seen this year – in some cases 20-30%." Looking ahead, "The devaluation is [more] symptomatic of the underlying problems for commodities than a new bear factor in its own right." "This is another bearish catalyst [for commodities], but not much," agrees Swiss bank UBS's analyst Daniel Morgan, speaking to The Australian Financial Review. "At the margin, somebody will demand less quantity at the price offered in the market...[But] it's a bear market, and it keeps grinding." For precious metals, on the other hand, "China's decision to devalue could offer support for gold and more specifically [for mining] equities," reckons a note from Germany's Deutsche Bank, upgrading its view of several producers including major gold miners Barrick (NYSE:ABX) and Newmont (NYSE:NEM). Ratings agency Moody's yesterday cut its view on $10 billion of Barrick's debt by one notch to Baa3, one level above so-called "junk" status but now seen as "stable" with that investment-grade rating. Bullion holdings at the giant SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) yesterday saw the first inflow – needed to back the number of shares in issue – since mid-July, taking the total to 671 tonnes, a fresh 7-year low when first reached last week. Tuesday's rise in silver prices, in contrast, saw holdings at the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca:SLV) fall to the lowest level in two months at 10,107 tonnes, down some 2% from this year's highs and 7% below late-2014's peak when prices fell hard in November. "Silver breached technical resistance at 15.30 and looks set to test 16.00," reckons a trading note from Swiss refiner and finance group MKS. "The next major level to watch for gold is the break-out level from early last month when the market gapped $50 lower at $1130/32."
Total jewellery demand was down 23% at 118 tons, compared with 152.6 tons in the same quarter last year.
Gold demand falls in Q2 2015 as reduced consumer appetite in Asia outweighs increased buying in some western markets
Overall jewellery demand was down 14% to 513t, from 595t in 2014 due to falls in consumer spending in Asia. In China, slowing economic growth and a rallying stock market led to a 5% fall in demand to 174t. In India, the heavy unseasonal rains in Q1 and drought in Q2 impacted rural incomes and affected gold demand. In addition, a dearth of auspicious days for marriages in Q3 meant that wedding-...