2012-05-09

China Imports Gold Up 587% in 1Q2012

While the price of gold has not performed particularly well since reaching its $1,923 all-time high in September 2011, this has not deterred Chinese citizens from accumulating the yellow metal.
The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government reported that during the first quarter of 2012, imports of gold from Hong Kong to China were 135,529 kilograms (135.53 metric tons) – a 587% increase over the 19,729 kilograms imported from January through March of 2011 – according to Bloomberg.

The story went on to say that “Demand has climbed in the world’s second-largest economy as rising incomes and curbs on property speculation boosted purchases. China may become the biggest user annually this year, according to a forecast from the producer-funded World Gold Council. Last year, total Indian demand including for jewelry and investment was 933.4 tons to China’s 769.8 tons.”
Nick Trevethan, senior commodities strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, commented that “We’re looking at another solid year for Chinese demand based on these early numbers.  While it’s largely related to price, negative real interest rates should keep demand strong.”
Liang Ruian, a director at Pinpoint Investment Consulting Ltd. in Beijing, stated that “Summer is usually the low season for gold consumption.  If we can see growth even in the low season, it represents the resilient nature of China’s gold consumption.”

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