China Mad Dash for Safe Haven Gold Exceeds 1,000 Tonnes in 2013

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 11, 2014 5:11 PM EST

China's mad dash for the safe haven yellow metal gold has surpassed 1,000 tonnes in 2013.

According to newly released data by the China Gold Association, the country's gold consumption reached 1,176.40 tonnes in 2013, a jump of 41.36 per cent from the previous year's 832.18 tonnes.

Reuters
Gold jewelry for sale is seen at a jewelers in New York City December 19, 2013.

It was the first time that China's appetite for the gold metal hit 1,000 tonnes.

Demand for jewelry and bars spurred the jump. Sales of gold jewelry reached 716 50 tonnes, a jump of 42.5 per cent a year ago, while gold bullion soared 56.57 per cent year-on-year to 375.73 tonnes.

The Chinese immediately pounced on the safe haven yellow metal gold as prices tumbled by 28 per cent in 2013.

"The sharply lower prices attracted a lot of Chinese consumers looking for bargains," Reuters quoted Chen Min, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in Shenzhen. "Gold will continue to be an attractive investment in China in the near term as prices look steady near $1,200 an ounce," he added.

While China account for a quarter of the global demand for gold, the majority of these buyers are budget-conscious shoppers. The Chinese are known for being spend-thrifty and will pounce mostly when prices are weak.

"The surge in Chinese gold consumption has helped to limit price declines," Bloomberg quoted Duan Shihua, a partner at Shanghai Leading Investment Management Co. "If Chinese demand is sustained, it will be a long-term bullish factor."

"Chinese buyers have been quite active but the longer-term picture for gold remains bearish against the backdrop of continued stimulus reduction in the U.S.," Yang Xi, a Hangzhou-based analyst at Yongan Futures Co, said. "Gold's support may come in the form of haven demand if further tapering results in more capital outflows from emerging markets."

On Tuesday, gold bullion for immediate delivery jumped 0.8 per cent to $1,284.34 an ounce and traded at $1,284.08 in Singapore by 10:29 a.m.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Gold jewelry for sale is seen at a jewelers in New York City December 19, 2013.
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