The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Gold Deliveries Slump

A TOTAL 1 076 kilogrammes of gold was delivered last month, reflecting a 3,31 percent dip from the previous month's deliveries.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the decline was largely due to a 2,5 percent drop in deliveries by primary producers.

Gold deliveries from small-scale producers shrunk by a marginal -2,03 percent.

The monthly gold deliveries have failed to stem the downward trend.

In the previous month, gold deliveries declined by 2,9 percent to reach 1 112,4kg.

But the African Development Bank, in its May economic review, noted that on average, gold deliveries since the beginning of the year have improved.

"However, the average growth for total gold deliveries for the five months from January to May 2012 stood at 1,3 percent, registering a cumulative figure of 5 314kg," said the AfDB.

It also noted an improvement in terms of a year-on-year analysis.

"In comparison with the same period last year, total gold deliveries grew by 13,1 percent from 950,94kg in May 2011 to 1 076kg in May 2012, while gold deliveries by small-scale producers and primary producers grew by 23,2 percent and 10,9 percent, respectively."

Observers contend that deliveries of gold will maintain this momentum to reach the annual target of 13 000kg by end of the year.

Meanwhile, the month of May saw a decline in the spot prices of gold and other precious minerals.

Gold prices last month fell to a low of US$1 576, lower than the US$1 594, recorded in December.

The international price of gold has been range-bound between US$1 600 and US$1 700, as investors showed a bias for the commodities market in the wake of the eurozone crisis.

The AfDB attributed this to the continually volatile global economic outlook. Other factors, the bank said, included the French and Greek elections and the tumbling of the euro/US dollar during most of the month.

Other factors include the renewed speculation around the potential departure of Greece from the European Union, the sharp depreciation in major currencies -- including the Indian rupee, euro, Aussie dollar and the positive news from the US economy mainly in the housing market.

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