China’s gold demand surges, tops 1,000 tonnes for first time
BEIJING/SINGAPORE, Feb 10 (Reuters) – China’s gold consumption jumped 41 percent in 2013 to exceed 1,000 tonnes for the first time, an industry body said on Monday, as a sharp slide in prices attracted buyers for jewelery and bullion.
The demand surge has helped China become the No. 1 gold consumer and should support prices, which took a hit last year from expectations of a tapering of commodities-friendly economic stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve and a drop in demand in the other major buyer India.
Gold consumption in China grew to 1,176.40 tonnes last year, with jewelery demand climbing 43 percent to 716.50 tonnes and bullion demand soaring 57 percent to 375.73 tonnes, the China Gold Association said on its website.
Chinese demand hit a record as gold prices fell for the first time in 13 years amid an improving global economy and a rally in equities. Prices tumbled 28 percent in 2013.
“The sharply lower prices attracted a lot of Chinese consumers looking for bargains,” said Chen Min, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in Shenzhen.
“Gold will continue to be an attractive investment in China in the near term as prices look steady near $1,200 an ounce,” Chen said.