China world’s top gold consumer as sales cross 1,000 tonnes

BEIJING: China’s gold consumption crossed 1,000 tonnes for the first time ever in 2013, reinforcing its status as the world’s top consumer.
China’s gold consumption touched 1,176.4 tonnes from 832.2 tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 41.4 percent, latest statistics released by China Gold Association showed.
The statistics show although the gold output and consumption in China have been setting new records, the gap between the consumption and output has grown wider and wider, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
In 2007, the total gold output of gold was 270.5 tonnes and the consumption 327.6 tonnes.
While in 2013, the total gold output was 428.2 tonnes, and the consumption 1,176.4 tonnes, ranking first in the world for seven consecutive years. In 2013, a total of 11,614.5 tonnes of gold products were traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, with a turnover of 3.2 trillion yuan. And a total of 40.2 million gold future contracts were traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, with a turnover of 1.1 trillion yuan.
Xiao Lei, a senior researcher of the gold market, explained that the surge in demand for gold jewelleries and gold bars had much to do with the buying spree in China after the dropping of gold prices. The sales growth in gold jewelleries and gold bars suggested a major change in Chinese people’s demand. “The jewellery consumption still has plenty of room for growth. Right now, the average possession of gold in China is less than one-fifth of the global average and less than one-tenth of the average of developed countries. Like the automobile consumption in China ten years ago, the growth of the gold jewellery consumption has just begun,” he said.           —PTI

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