China Gold Imports Climb on Pre-Holiday Buying, Lower Prices

Beijing (Oct 27)  China's net imports of gold from Hong Kong increased for the third month in September as lower prices and inventory-building before a week-long holiday spurred buying.

Net purchases rose to 96.6 metric tons from 54.7 tons in August and 61.7 tons a year earlier, according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department compiled by Bloomberg. The mainland bought 110.3 tons, including scrap, compared with 67.9 tons a month earlier. Exports to Hong Kong increased to 13.7 tons from 13.2 tons. Mainland China doesn’t publish the data.

Bullion declined for five straight quarters through September amid speculation that U.S. interest rates would rise by year-end. Gold consumption in mainland China may match or exceed the record in 2013 after financial-market turmoil and the yuan’s devaluation boosted the metal’s appeal, according to the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society, which also saw higher sales at jewelers in Hong Kong. China celebrated the Golden Week Oct. 1-7.

“Usually stockpiling demand ahead of the peak consumption season pushes up imports and the price was quite attractive in September,” Wang Shunyang, an analyst at SMM Information & Technology Co., said by phone from Hangzhou before the data was released.

Buying in mainland China, which vies with India as the world’s largest consumer, picked up after the stock-market turmoil this year and August’s surprise devaluation, according to Haywood Cheung, chairman of the supervisory committee at the century-old Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange.

Swiss exports of gold to China jumped to 21.7 tons in September from 17 tons a month earlier, while shipments to Hong Kong increased to 59.8 tons from 36.2 tons, according to the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. The metal for immediate delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,166.10 an ounce at 6 p.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

Source: Bloomberg