China on track to overtake India as world’s top gold consumer

City A.M. Reporter
CHINA’S consumption of gold in the first six months of the year surged by more than half as sliding prices of the metal lured buyers, data showed yesterday, reinforcing expectations that it will overtake India as the world’s top gold consumer this year.

Gold prices have lost about a fifth of their value this year after 12 years of gains, releasing pent-up demand across the world and particularly in India and China, where gold is an essential part of weddings and gift-giving.

China consumed 706.36 tonnes of gold in the first half of 2013, up 54 per cent from the same period last year, the China Gold Association (CGA) said yesterday.

It consumed 832.18 tonnes in all of 2012 and about 460 tonnes in the first half of 2012.

“China bought a lot when prices fell below $1,350 in April thinking it will not fall further,” said Chen Min, precious metals analyst at Jinrui Futures in Shenzhen.

China’s gold demand could hit a record 1,000 tonnes this year, the World Gold Council said last month. India’s consumption this year is expected to be lower than last year’s 860 tonnes as the government is trying to curb imports and reduce its trade deficit.