China’s 2010 Gold Rush

Posted by Adrian Ash - The Daily Reckoning

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01/02/10 London, England – The collapse in India’s gold demand during 2007-09 might seem good reason to question the fundamental strength of gold buying worldwide.

After all, if the world’s No.1 gold buyers can’t keep up with record-high gold prices, who can…?

But the plain fact, as BullionVault first forecast in spring 2009, is that China has overtaken India as the number one private gold buyer this year. The typical Chinese New Year gold rush has already begun (thanks in part to 3% discounts at major retailers), and robust demand looks likely to continue through 2010 if not beyond.

Full-year 2009 private demand in mainland China could outstrip India, the former No.1 buyer, by one quarter if not one third. Short of a (very unlikely) collapse in Q4 demand, full-year private gold buying – including jewelry and retail investment – is set to have grown 10% from 2008’s record in volume terms, rising 26% by value to equal $13.5 billion or more.

On recent trends, that would equate to more than 2.0% of China’s famously massive household savings (up from 1.0% ten years ago) and account for almost one ounce in every eight sold worldwide.

Basis the GFMS consultancy’s data (published by the World Gold Council), physical gold purchases by mainland Chinese households in 2009 was already running 19% ahead of India’s private demand for Q1-Q3.

Given China’s continued economic growth (certain to hit Beijing’s 8% target according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) – not to mention the surge in money-supply and credit growth over and above GDP (put at 23 and 27…

…….read more HERE.