Friday, July 12, 2024

China’s Net Gold Imports Surge via Hong Kong in Preparation for Chinese New Year Demand

In November, China observed a notable uptick in its net gold imports via Hong Kong, marking a substantial 37% increase from the previous month, according to recently released data. This surge in imports, amounting to 36.801 metric tons, is a strategic move by the world’s largest gold consumer to address the anticipated demand surge ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The data revealed a significant rise compared to October’s imports of 26.793 tons, reflecting an impressive 118.4% year-on-year increase in net gold imports for November.

Overall gold imports through Hong Kong registered a substantial climb, reaching 46.049 tons in November, showcasing a 37% surge compared to the previous month and a remarkable 120.9% rise from the corresponding period last year.

Bernard Sin, the regional director of Greater China at MKS PAMP, shed light on the surge, stating, “China strategically utilized import quotas and relaxed some import restrictions in anticipation of the Chinese New Year in February.” Sin also predicted a continued trend of increased imports via Hong Kong and other global avenues in December.

It’s noteworthy that the People’s Bank of China exercises control over the volume of gold entering the country through the allocation of quotas to commercial banks. However, it’s essential to recognize that the Hong Kong data may not fully depict China’s complete gold purchases, as gold imports also occur via Shanghai and Beijing.

China also witnessed a rise in gold shipments from Switzerland last month, contributing to the surge in overall imports.

As of the end of November, the value of China’s gold reserves climbed to $145.7 billion, rising from $142.17 billion recorded at the end of October.

During the month, Chinese dealers transacted gold at premiums ranging from $20 to $58 per ounce over the global benchmark spot prices. This showcased a slight adjustment from the $25 to $60 range observed in October, highlighting the varying dynamics in the market.

China’s proactive increase in gold imports aligns with the expected surge in demand during the forthcoming Chinese New Year celebrations and serves as a strategic move to bolster its gold reserves amid evolving market conditions.

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