Gold Imports by China From Hong Kong Double on Economic Recovery

Glenys Sim | Bloomberg |

Gold imports by China from Hong Kong almost doubled in November from a month earlier as expectations of an economic recovery and lower prices spurred purchases.

Mainland China bought 90,764 kilograms (90.764 metric tons), including scrap and coins, compared with 47,478 kilograms in October. Shipments were 11.5 percent less than the 102,603.7 kilograms a year earlier, data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government show.

Gold, which slipped 0.3 percent in November, capped the 12th year of a bull run in 2012 as investors sought to hedge against weaker currencies after central banks around the world took action to boost economic growth. China’s gross domestic product is poised to expand 8.1 percent this year, up from 7.7 percent in 2012 which was the weakest pace since 1999, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Shipments almost doubled to 720,090.6 kilograms in the first 11 months from 392,564.4 kilograms a year earlier, Bloomberg calculations show. Net imports, excluding flows from China to Hong Kong, were 61,786.6 kilograms in November from 23,844 kilograms a month earlier. China doesn’t publish such data.

Exports of gold to Hong Kong from China were 28,978 kilograms in November, up from 23,634 kilograms in October, according to a separate statistics department statement. Shipments were more than the 9,505 kilograms a year ago. They were 281,156 kilograms in the first 11 months from 85,430 kilograms a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1,653.70 an ounce at 6:17 p.m. in Singapore today. Holdings in gold- backed exchange-traded products were at 2,622.3 tons yesterday, about 0.4 percent below the record set Dec. 20, data compiled by Bloomberg show.