Gold demand hit near record levels in the first quarter of 2016.

Despite the price rising nearly 17%, the demand for gold surged 21% in the opening quarter of the year. It was the second largest quarter on record, according to the World Gold Council.

Gold demand hit 1,290 tons in Q1. Concerns about economic instability and an uncertain financial landscape drove the increase. Investors flocked to gold, and ETFs saw a huge inflow of the yellow metal. Total investment demand hit 618 tons, up 122% from the same period in 2015:

Demand for physical bullion was robust. Total bar and coin demand came in at 254 tons, up nearly 1%. There was some weakness in price sensitive markets, but it was offset by surging demand in the US, with a 55% increase, and the UK, with a 61% jump. Demand for bars and coins in China rose 5% in the quarter.

Image courtesy of schiffgold.com