Cameron Alexander wrote an interesting article on Chinese gold demand in CME Group’s publication Open Markets. The Chinese have rushed to take advantage of low gold prices this year, and China’s central bank is talking about easing restrictions on gold imports going forward. China is on track to surpass India in global gold demand this year. Alexander explains the gold mania inherent in Chinese culture and what a vital role the yellow metal will play in the Chinese economy going forward.
“As the gold price fell almost 30 percent between January and June this year, the largest decline since 1983, some 585 tonnes of gold ETF holdings were liquidated as momentum driven investors exited the market. The price fall prompted physical demand in China to reach astonishing levels, however, as mainland consumers rushed to purchase the yellow metal.
The price collapse was seen as an unprecedented opportunity by many to restock gold assets, with Chinese “aunties”, a term of respect for older women who are generally in charge of household budgets, seizing the opportunity to stock up on gold items and seasonal gifts, purchases of which were normally scheduled for the later part of the year. This led to the frenzy in retail activity that was witnessed across the country in the second quarter. The groundswell in demand saw these aunties willing to line up outside retail stores literally for hours in a bid to get their hands on some form of gold product, be it plain jewelry (primarily 24-carat) or investment bars, and in many cases, led to outlets being completely wiped out of all inventory.”
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