China’s Oct gold imports from Hong Kong slip from 10-month high
Singapore (Nov 26) China's net gold imports from main conduit Hong Kong fell in October from a 10-month high reached in the previous month, data showed on Thursday.
Net gold imports from Hong Kong declined to 71.581 tonnes last month from 97.242 tonnes in September, according to data emailed to Reuters by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. Imports in September were the highest in 10 months.
The drop at the top consumer follows three straight months of increases as banks and retailers stocked up for the national day holiday in the first week of October, when gold sales typically pick up.
"Consumers bought gold during the October holiday, but the buying has eased after that," said a trader with a bullion bank in China.
"The import volumes are still quite high and November should also be similar," he said.
Seasonal demand for bullion should last until the Lunar New Year early next year as gold is a popular choice for gift giving.
Buying interest has also been boosted by lower gold prices , which are at a near-six-year low.
Premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a proxy for Chinese demand, were trading at a healthy $5-$6 an ounce on Thursday, versus $3-$4 in the beginning of the month.
China does not provide official trade data on gold, so the Hong Kong figures serve as a proxy for flows to the mainland.
The Hong Kong data, however, does not provide a full picture of Chinese purchases as imports also come directly through Shanghai and Beijing.