BEIJING(Scrap Monster): The world's second largest gold consumer China has imported more gold than the entire gold reserve of Portugal in the first half of this year.
Portugal, the 14th largest gold reserve in the world, holds about 382.5 tons of gold in it's reserves and the year to date total gold import by China is about 383 tons.
China's gold inflows from Hong Kong also increased six times in the first two quarters of 2012.
Analyst says that Chinese demand for buying gold has softened in the three months to the end of June, although the fall in demand should only be a temporary aberration.
The official customs data from Hong Kong, a major conduit for China's gold imports, show a 700% year-on year rise in gold flows over the first five months of 2012.China may become the biggest user of yellow metal annually this year.
A jump of 30%, to between 900 and 1,000 metric tons in 2012 from 769.8 metric tonnes last year is expected in Chinese gold demand, India's usage may fall to 700 to 800 metric tonnes, from 933.4 metric tonnes.
China may have overtaken India as the world's top consumer of gold in the first quarter of 2012, but the country is not resting on its laurels. By buying gold mines, and accumulating the produced gold before it hits the international market, China is able to purchase gold below the spot gold price.
The prospect of China becoming the largest bullion user reflects the country’s economic ascendance. Per capita gross domestic product has more than doubled since 2000, according to World Bank data. The country is already the world’s top consumer of copper and biggest producer of steel.
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