LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Gold-backed exchange-traded funds saw inflows of 456 tonnes worldwide in the first quarter of 2009, against a total 321 tonnes for the whole of the previous year, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.
Marcus Grubb, managing director of investment research and marketing at the WGC, said he expected investment as a proportion of total demand to reach a new high in the quarter.
“You are seeing a shift in the dynamic of the gold market,” he said.
“ETF investment is in its infancy, and so is gold investment,” he said. “Most allocations of gold are zero.”
“You would only need a small shift in allocations to gold in segments of private and institutional wealth where they’re not currently invested to have a major impact, when mining supply is only 2,400 tonnes a year.”
He said gold supply was likely to be supported by scrap inflows, which he said will probably head above 1,500 tonnes this year, offsetting flat or slightly declining mine supply.
“The growth in investment is extremely strong,” he said. “It is being led to some extent by ETFs.”