Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2013-10-8 23:33:01
The Chinese mainland's net gold purchases from Hong Kong fell 5 percent in August from the previous month, but were still above 100 tons for a fourth straight month, as strong demand for jewelry and gold bars persisted in the world's second biggest bullion consumer.
Net gold flows into the Chinese mainland - excluding imports by Hong Kong from the mainland - reached 110.505 tons in August, compared with 116.385 tons in July, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) showed Tuesday.
The mainland's total gold imports from Hong Kong rose to 131.374 tons in August from 129.232 tons a month ago, the statistics department said.
"These are very strong numbers again. Gold demand from China remains brisk, offsetting weak demand in the West and confirming the shift in gold demand from West to East," said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank.
Chinese demand has been very strong this year, offsetting to an extent record outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded products.
Many in the market expect China to overtake India as the biggest gold consumer.
The mainland's net gold imports from Hong Kong have totaled 744.818 tons for the first eight months of the year, according to the C&SD.
The numbers from Hong Kong - a main conduit for gold into the mainland - give the best picture of the country's trade of the precious metal.
Gold has lost nearly one- fifth of its value this year on fears of an end to the US Federal Reserve's stimulus measures.
Prices, however, had gained nearly 6 percent in August as geopolitical tensions in Syria mounted, burnishing the metal's safe-haven appeal.