|Charlotte McLeod reports that yet despite its popularity, the gold price is currently languishing well below its 2011 peak of nearly $1,900 per ounce. It took a steep dive midway through 2013, reaching about the $1,250 mark, and then dropped below $1,200 at the start of 2014. Since then, it has continued to fall, and in November 2015 was trading just below $1,100.|
Many initially expected the the lower gold price to lead to mine closures. However, as yet most gold producers have opted to cut costs rather than shut down their operations entirely.
Miners have taken diverse approaches to making such cost reductions, including lowering salaries and reducing employees. But perhaps the most common approach has been to cut down on exploration, many gold miners are directing all their money at their existing operations rather than searching for gold elsewhere. While that is not a problem just yet, many market watchers believe that ultimately gold may be in short supply.
For the moment, however, there is no shortage of gold. In terms of where it is being produced, China, Australia and Russia were the three top producers in 2014. Respectively, they put out 450, 270 and 245 MT of the yellow metal.
China is also one of the world top consumers of gold, and in 2014 took in 813.6 MT. That is certainly a sizeable amount, but it is actually down a whopping 38% from the 2013 number. According to Reuters, Chinese gold consumption was particularly high in 2013 because of the metal is big drop in the latter half of the year.
India is also a major market for gold, and in 2014 consumed 842.7 MT of the metal. That is the most taken in by any country, though like China, India saw a drop in gold consumption from 2013 to 2014. The title of world largest gold consumer is often a toss up between India and China.