OREANDA-NEWS. Global demand for gold bars and coins increased to 339.5 tonnes in Q1, the highest since Q4 2016, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

Investors are worried about rising inflation and are trying to protect their assets by converting some of the money into gold, the council said.

Global demand for gold jewelry rose 52% in the first quarter to 477.4 tons. The demand for technical gold has also increased.

World banks in the first quarter bought 95.5 tons of gold (-23% in annual terms and + 20% in monthly terms). At the same time, investment demand for gold fell by 23% to 815.7 tons.

The average gold price fell by 10% in the first quarter. World gold production increased by 4% to 851 tons, market supply fell by 4%.

China has reduced gold production, Russia has increased. In the coming years, several large gold mining projects will be launched in Russia, the WGC notes.

Gold is in demand, especially given the accelerating inflation. Experts are optimistic about the gold market, the WGC concludes.

Louise Street, senior market analyst with World Gold Council Research, said: “As countries around the world continue to recover, economies have begun to cautiously reopen. This gave hope for a return of consumer confidence in the first quarter, as evidenced by a significant increase in demand for gold jewelry. Gold remains relevant in well-balanced portfolios, especially given the risk of impending inflation. Looking ahead until the end of this year, we see reasons to be optimistic about the gold market as its main drivers have support. "