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China's gold consumption to cool after surge

Updated: 2013-11-04 17:06
( Agencies)

China's gold consumption to cool after surge

A shop assistant displays gold necklaces in a jewelry store in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, Oct 23, 2013. [Photo/CFP]

China's gold consumption is expected to climb to more than 1,000 tons this year, though the trend is not sustainable and could drop below this level from 2014, the country's biggest gold producer said on Monday.

Meanwhile, gold output this year from China, the world's top producer, is set to climb about 7 percent to another record high of 430 tons, Du Haiqing, vice general manager at China Gold Group Corp, said at an industry conference held in the northern city of Tianjin.

Gold demand from China has surged by more than half in the first six months of the year as sliding prices of the precious metal lured buyers, reinforcing expectations that China will overtake India as the top consumer this year.

Gold consumption in 2012 was 832.18 tonnes, according to data from the China Gold Association.

Demand growth has dramatically outpaced production, causing imports from Hong Kong to surge and hover at more than 100 tonnes for five straight months up to September.

But this year's consumption was "abnormal", as a sharp drop in prices in April has sparked a buying frenzy, said Du.

"Consumption will gradually cool down. The current consumption level of over 1,000 tons will not be sustained and will fall to normal levels as consumers become more rational."

Du forecast China's gold production would hit 430 tons this year, compared with 403 tons in 2012.

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