Thursday, March 10, 2011

South African Production Jumps

Thanks to record-setting gold prices, gold production in South Africa has risen the most in 30 years. The mation is only the fourth-largest gold producer worldwide, but its previous status as the #1 nation keeps its production closely watched.
Miners in the country produced 15.1 percent more gold during the month than they did a year earlier, according to a monthly report from Statistics South Africa today. That’s the biggest monthly increase according to Bloomberg data which goes back to the start of 1981.

South African gold production in January was skewed by exceptionally low output a year earlier, Martin Kohler, deputy director of statistics at the national directorate of mineral economics, said by phone from Pretoria today. He wasn’t immediately able to comment further.
Production of all metals in South Africa was up 4.3% from a year earlier.

Demand last year did rise faster than supply, but supply worldwide is still increasing. The cure now for high gold prices isn't likely to be high prices, given the primacy of demand increases, but the high-price effect is there. Once demand stops rising, supply increases will no longer have their effects smothered. Because gold is primarily an asset, even a large increase in supply doesn't change the total stock available to trade by all that much. The supply increase that's to be feared is present holders rushing to market with already-mined gold - suppliers that used to be demanders.

1 comment:

  1. South Africa has been usurped in gold production by China. Nevertheless, this jump should contribute to overall growth and will hopefully make up for some of the production lost in 2010.