Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K., Japan’s biggest bullion retailer, said its purchases of gold from local investors surpassed sales in 2012 for the eighth straight year as prices increased.
While purchases fell 62 percent to 28,578 kilograms (918,804 ounces), sales declined 36 percent to 22,890 kilograms, according to a statement from the Tokyo-based company today.
Gold in London advanced 7 percent in 2012, rising for the 12 consecutive year, the longest run of annual gains in at least nine decades. Investors bought bullion to hedge against the risk of inflation and currency debasement. Prices in Japan, including sales tax, reached 5,146 yen per gram ($1,805 an ounce) on Jan. 21, the highest level since 1980, Tanaka said.
Japanese gold prices averaged 4,321 yen last year, up from 4,060 yen in 2011, while platinum averaged 4,078 yen per gram, down from 4,522 yen, according to the statement.
Sales of platinum declined 24 percent to 7,170 kilograms in 2012 from the previous year, while purchases rose 12 percent to 4,538 kilograms. Sales exceed purchases for a fifth year in 2012, Tanaka said.
Gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,693.70 an ounce at 1:42 p.m. Tokyo time, while spot platinum fell 0.3 percent to $1,691.25 an ounce. Bullion for December delivery fell 0.7 percent to 4,837 yen a gram after touching a record 4,913 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange yesterday.