For the better part of the first quarter of 2019, gold, which remains the largest foreign exchange earner for the country has being trading on the international market at lower prices than it did last in the same period of last year.
According to data from investing.com, gold prices stood at between US$1348.20 per ounce and US$1358.40 per ounce to end the first quarter of 2018. However the situation for this year has deteriorated significantly, as the preciouso metal has struggled to stay above the key level of US$ 1,300 per ounce level.
This notwithstanding, the market has seen some level of a struggle to stay at the near term target of US$1,318 per ounce, but analysts believe that if the market is able to break through the near term target, then US$1,327 per ounce would be the next level to achieve.
The struggle of the price of this traditional safe-haven investment genre to move above the near term target of US$ 1,300 per ounce has largely been due to the strengthening of the US dollar, among other key factors.
In Ghana, according to the Bank of Ghana’s Summary of Economic Financial Data as at January 2019, the earnings realized by producers has managed to stay slightly above international spot prices.
Gold from Ghanaian producers, since June 2018, has seen a year to date (YTD) fall in prices of -1.2 percent which is smaller than the international YTD price decline of -2.2 percent.
This trend has continued through to the end of 2018, as gold traded on the international market at YTD falls in prices levels of -4.1, -3.6, and -1.2 percent in October, November and December 2018 respectively, as against the smaller YTD prices levels declines suffered by producers in the country of -2.9, -2.3 and 0.7 percentage respectively over the same periods.
Gold traded on the international market at US$ 1214, US$ 1220.8 and US$1251.1 per ounce in October, November and December, respectively, as compared to the prices realized by producers in the Ghana of US$ 1228.8, US$1236.1 and US$ 1256.4 per ounce respectively over the same period.
The data shows that the producers in Ghana that have hedged the prices of their production have benefitted significantly from higher realized prices than the spot market prices established at the daily Gold Fix in an era when gold prices are recording poor performance.
Gold production has dropped for the second consecutive year. Analysts in the industry project that this trend is not expected to change for at least the next two years.
Although mining companies are increasing their exploration budgets, it is believed that the problem remains the lack of significant deposits.