How big is the global gold market?

Jul 1, 2020

how big is the global market (1440 x 1080)

According to the World Gold Council, the best estimates suggest that by the end of 2019 more than 197,000 tonnes of gold had been mined across the course of human history. 

Despite the fact that gold has been valued and sought after by humans for millennia, the majority of this gold – roughly two thirds – has been mined in the past 70 years.

This gold is owned in a variety of forms which can be grouped into several major categories of gold demand. These include:

  • jewellery
  • physical bars and coins
  • Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) holdings
  • official holdings (central bank reserves) 
  • fabrication (industrial demand)

These are highlighted in the chart below which indicates the percentage of total gold holdings held in each: 

The table below shows total global gold holdings held in the above categories by percentage, actual tonnes held and market value based on the 31 December 2019 LBMA AM gold price of USD 1,523.00 per ounce. 

Category

Tonnes

Market value (USD)

Percentage of total holdings

Category

Jewellery

Tonnes

92,947.3

Market value (USD)

$4.5 trillion

Percentage of total holdings

47.04

Category

Official Holdings

Tonnes

33,919.2

Market value (USD)

$1.6t

Percentage of total holdings

17.17

Category

Bars and Coins

Tonnes

39,721.9

Market value (USD)

$1.9t

Percentage of total holdings

20.10

Category

ETF's

Tonnes

2,897.5

Market value (USD)

$141 billion

Percentage of total holdings

1.47

Category

Fabrication

Tonnes

28,089.7

Market value (USD)

$1.4t

Percentage of total holdings

14.22

Category

Total

Tonnes

197,575.7

Market value (USD)

$9.6t

Percentage of total holdings

100.00

Source: World Gold Council, Kitco, The Perth Mint

As demonstrated by the above data, the size of the gold market at the end of last year, based on the amount that has been mined and its end-December 2019 price, was more than USD 9.6 trillion. 

While not all these holdings can be considered ‘near market’ gold (particularly gold that has been used in fabrication), even the gold held for private investment and as central bank reserves has a market value in excess of USD 3.7 trillion. 

Note that the above table does not include exposure through derivatives (either exchange traded or over the counter), with the World Gold Council estimating that by the end of 2018 some USD 400 billion in exposure was held through these investments. 

At over USD 9.5 trillion, the gold market is valued at more than five times the size of the entire Australian superannuation market as at the end of 2019. 

DISCLAIMER

Past performance does not guarantee future results. The information in this article and the links provided are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice from The Perth Mint. The Perth Mint is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent financial advice to check how the information in this article relates to your unique circumstances. All data, including prices, quotes, valuations and statistics included have been obtained from sources The Perth Mint deems to be reliable, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or completeness. The Perth Mint is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this article.

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