Data from China’s peak body for the domestic gold sector indicates that Chinese consumption of the precious metal was first in the world for the sixth consecutive year in 2018.
China’s real gold consumption volume in 2018 was 1151.43 tonnes according to figures released by the China Gold Association at the end of January.
The figure marks a 5.73% increase compared to 2017, as well as makes China the largest gold consumer in the world for the sixth year running.
Domestic gold production in China was 401.119 tonnes, for a decline of 25.023 tonnes, or 5.87%, compared to 2017.
The production volume nonetheless made China the world’s largest gold producer for the 12th consecutive year.
Imports of raw gold in 2018 saw a sizeable YoY increase of 23.47% to reach 112.783 tonnes.
“A new development trend of Chinese gold enterprises expanding overseas has already emerged,” said Song Xin (宋鑫), head of the China Gold Association according to a report from state-owned media.
According to Song China’s much-vaunted Belt and Road initiative is expediting the active and wilful overseas expansion of Chinese gold enterprises.
“Some enterprises are quick and others slow, but all of them are continuing to expand the vigour of their ‘expansion,’ and the overall progress of internationalisation is unstoppable.”
With regard to forms of consumption jewellery and gold bars saw a steady increase, industrial and other uses posted robust, double digit growth, while gold coins logged a sizeable decline.
Jewellery accounted for 736.29 tonnes of Chinese gold consumption in 2018, for a YoY rise of 5.71%, while gold bars consumed 285.20 tonnes, for a YoY rise of 3.19%.
Gold coins accounted for 24.00 tonnes of gold consumption, for a 7.69% YoY decline, while industrial and other usages were 105.94 tonnes, for a YoY leap of 17.48%.