Chinese Gold Imports Rise on Higher Quotas

China’s gold imports from Hong Kong rose in February amid increasing demand and as the country allowed more banks to import the precious metal.

Net imports totaled 109.2 metric tons last month, compared with 83.6 tons in January and 60.9 tons a year earlier, according to calculations by Bloomberg News based on data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department today. Exports to Hong Kong from China fell to 15.8 tons in February from 19 tons in January, the Statistics Department said in a separate statement. Mainland China doesn’t publish such data.

Bullion is up 9.1 percent in 2014 on rising consumption in Asia and as emerging-market turmoil and signs the U.S. recovery may be faltering boost haven demand. China overtook India as the largest user last year as the biggest price drop in more than three decades spurred purchases, the World Gold Council said last month. China granted licenses for importing gold to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., HSBC Holdings Plc and China Everbright Bank Co., Reuters reported in January.

“Imports were boosted by more participants in the market,” said Duan Shihua, a partner at Shanghai Leading Investment Management Co. “Some buyers may be replenishing inventory after robust sales during the Lunar New Year.”

Imports were underpinned by demand from traders using bullion purchases in trade financing deals to obtain short-term bank credit, said Liu Xu, precious metals analyst at Capital Futures Co. in Beijing.

via Bloomberg

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza