* Gold consumption down 12.9% at 1,002.Eight T in 2019 – affiliation
* Gross sales of jewelry, gold bar and cash fall sharply
* Gold manufacturing down 5.2% at 380.2 T as sources deplete (Provides feedback from analyst, China GDP information)
BEIJING, Jan 21 (Reuters) – China’s gold consumption fell for the primary time in three years in 2019, figures launched by its business affiliation confirmed on Tuesday, as excessive costs and an financial slowdown hit shopping for on the earth’s largest marketplace for the metallic.
China consumed 1,002.Eight tonnes of gold in 2019, down 12.9% year-on-year, the China Gold Affiliation stated in a press release on its web site.
The drop was resulting from downward strain on the Chinese language economic system and rising costs for the metallic within the second half of final 12 months, the affiliation stated.
China’s financial development cooled to its weakest in almost 30 years in 2019 throughout a bruising commerce battle with the US, information confirmed on Jan. 17.
Spot gold costs climbed by 18.3% in the identical 12 months because the commerce stand-off led to coverage easing by main central banks, decreasing the chance value of holding non-yielding bullion.
Costs are presently round $1,555 an oz., after hovering to a close to seven-year excessive of $1,610.90 earlier this month.
The excessive value “has led buyers in stable gold to undertake a ‘wait and see’ stance, and gross sales of gold bars by key enterprises and industrial banks have additionally fallen sharply,” the affiliation stated.
Gold jewelry consumption in China was down 8.2% to 676.23 tonnes in 2019, whereas that of gold bars and cash tumbled by 27% to 225.Eight tonnes.
“The Chinese language economic system is just not getting higher, thus spending sentiment has been souring,” stated Samson Li, a Hong Kong-based treasured metals analyst at Refinitiv GFMS.
“The jewelry sector continues shifting in the direction of merchandise carrying much less gold content material, as a result of they’re cheaper to customers, have higher designs, and supply increased revenue margin to sellers.”
China, additionally the primary producer of mined gold, noticed its home output of the metallic fall final 12 months by 5.2% to 380.2 tonnes, sliding for a 3rd straight 12 months as sources depleted. Uncooked materials imports rose 6.6%, the affiliation famous.
“The sharp discount in manufacturing of home gold mines has resulted in tighter provide … and a rise in imported gold smelting uncooked supplies, which have grow to be an necessary complement to China’s manufacturing,” it stated.
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