JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The highest quarterly amount of exchange traded fund (ETF) gold ever in absolute US dollar terms, plus the largest tonnage additions since 2016, were realised in the first quarter of this year, the World Gold Council reported on Wednesday.
First-quarter global gold-backed ETFs and similar products added 298 t, representing net asset growth of $23-billion across all regions.
This followed last year’s full year performance of gold ETFs adding 659 t, the highest on a rolling annual basis since the financial crisis, with assets under management growing 57% over the same period.
In the month of March, gold ETFs added 151 t, generating 5% higher net inflows of $8.1-billion, boosting holdings to a new all-time high of 3 185 t.
Trading volumes and assets under management reached record highs as gold volatility increased to levels last seen during the global financial crisis, yet gold price performance was mostly flat in dollars for the month.
Gold prices denominated in many other currencies, however, continued to reach all-time highs although the price in US dollars remained 15% below its 2011 high.
This highlights a continued trend of growth in gold ETFs outside of the US over the past few years, underscored by European funds seeing the largest absolute inflows and Asia and other regions registering the largest percentage growth during the month, the World Gold Council said in a media release to Mining Weekly.
Over the past 12 months assets in global gold-backed ETFs have grown 56%.
Following the March inflows, both holdings and assets of gold-backed ETFs are at all-time highs.
UK-based gold funds continue to take regional and global market share, now representing 46% of European assets and 21% of global assets.
Low-cost gold-backed ETFs in the US have seen positive flows for 21 of the past 22 months and have increased their collective assets by 263%.