Demand for gold saw a sharp decline in the world’s largest gold market last year, according to the latest figures from the China Gold Association (CGA).
China’s gold consumption was 1,002.78 tonnes in 2019, for a 13% decline compared to the preceding year and the first fall since 2016.
CGA data further indicates that Chinese gold consumption in 2019 was the lowest for the past three years.
Gold jewellery consumption, which comprised roughly two-thirds of total demand, was 676.23 tonnes, for a decline of 8.2%.
Bullion and coin consumption fell 27% to 225.8 tonnes, while industrial gold consumption fell 4.9% to 100.75 tonnes.
According to CGA the drop in consumption was the result of rising gold prices and a faltering Chinese economy.
Chinese gold production fell 5% last year to 380.23 tonnes, leaving the market heavily dependent upon imports despite China being the world’s biggest producer of the metal.
The Chinese central bank lifted gold reserve to 62.64 million ounces in 2019, from 59.56 million ounces at the end of 2018.