Chinese Demand For Gold “Explosive”

According to an executive of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank by market value, demand in China for physical gold and gold-related investments is growing at an “explosive” pace and its appetite for the yellow metal is poised to remain robust amid inflation concerns, reports Reuters. In other words, what was previously repeatedly reported on Zero Hedge, and by the World Gold Council, is starting to be appreciated by everyone else. Yet in a market in which supply and demand are completely disconnected from price discovery thanks to global central planning, and courtesy of precious metal price suppression by JPM, China investors are able to accumulate gold and other non-dilutable metals at prices that no longer reflect surging global demand. And just like in the US, China is also starting to fall for physical substitute investments: “There is also frantic demand for non-physical gold investments. We issued 1 billion yuan worth of gold-price-linked term deposits in 2010, but we managed to sell the same amount over just a few days in January this year,” Zhou said, adding that such deposits would easily exceed 5 billion yuan ($759 million) this year.” Although in China, unlike in London, these deposits may actually have real coverage behind them.

From Reuters:

ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, sold about 7 tonnes of physical gold in January this year, nearly half the 15 tonnes of bullion sold in the whole of 2010, said Zhou Ming, deputy head of the bank’s precious metals department on Wednesday.

We are seeing explosive demand for gold. As Chinese get wealthy, they look to diversify their investments and gold stands out as a good hedge against inflation,” Zhou told Reuters.

Gold imports into China soared in 2010, turning the country, already the largest bullion miner, into a major overseas buyer for the first time.

The surge, which comes as Chinese investors look for insurance against rising inflation and currency appreciation, puts the country on track to overtake India as the world’s top gold consumer and a significant force in global gold prices.

Gold prices jumped 30 percent in 2010 and struck an all-time high of $1430.95. Spot silver surged 83 percent last year and is currently hovering at around $30 per ounce.

Zhou said China’s gold demand could grow at a stronger pace this year compared with 2010, as a choppy stock market and moves by Beijing to rein in property speculation and purchases means more investors will pile their cash in bullion investments.

Unlike the property market, investment in the gold sector is something the government is encouraging,” he said.

Beijing has encouraged retail consumption and announced last August measures to promote and regulate the local gold market, including expanding the number of banks allowed to import bullion.

“China has a centuries-long cultural attraction to gold and because we have started at such a low base, I think demand growth will likely stay strong for quite some time,” he said.

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I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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