China Gold Imports Rise to Five-Month High Before Holiday Sales

Beijing (Oct 27)  China’s gold imports from Hong Kong in September rose to the highest in five months as retailers and fabricators boosted purchases ahead of a holiday sales season.

Net imports totaled 61.7 metric tons last month, the most since April, according to calculations by Bloomberg News based on data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department today. That compares with 25.6 tons in August and 109.4 tons a year earlier. Exports to Hong Kong from China rose to 30.1 tons in September from 12.4 tons in August, the statistics department said in a separate statement. Mainland China doesn’t publish such data.

China’s jewelry sales jumped 11.4 percent in September from a year earlier, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Bullion, which rallied in the first half of the year amid escalating tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East, fell 9 percent in the third quarter. China celebrated the National Day holiday during the first week of October.

Higher gold jewelry sales amid falling prices are “showcasing robust consumer demand,” Liu Xu, an analyst at Capital Futures Co., said by phone from Beijing before the data was released. “Anticipation for strong sales during the festive season in October might have prompted some heavy restocking during September.”

Bullion for immediate delivery in London was little changed at $1,230.54 an ounce 5:16 p.m. Beijing time, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Bullion of 99.99 percent purity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange fell for the third month in September, dropping by 5.4 percent.

Mainland China imported 91.8 tons last month, including scrap, compared with 38 tons in August and 116.3 tons a year earlier, data from the Hong Kong government showed.

Source: Bloomberg