Trade Resources Industry Views The Chinese Private Sector's Annual Gold Demand Is Set to Increase 25%

The Chinese Private Sector's Annual Gold Demand Is Set to Increase 25%

The Chinese private sector's annual gold demand is set to increase 25% from the current level of around 1,100 mt to at least 1,350 mt by 2017, the World Gold Council said Tuesday in the 'China's gold market: progress and prospects' report.

"Following the record level of Chinese demand in 2013, which saw the country become the world's largest gold market, the report suggests that while 2014 is likely to see consolidation, the succeeding years are likely to see sustained growth," according to a release.

WGC noted that in addition to newly emerging middle classes, "rising real incomes, a deepening pool of private savings and rapid urbanization across China suggest that the outlook for gold jewelry and investment demand in the next four years will remain strong."

The next six years will see China's middle class grow by over 60%, or 200 million people, to a total of 500 million.

Albert Cheng, managing director of the Far East at the WGC said: "The cultural affinity for gold runs deep in China and when this is combined with an increasingly affluent population and a supportive government, there is significant room for the market to grow even further. The country is now at the center of the global gold ecosystem."

As well as being the largest global consumer of gold, China has gone from being a minor producer to the world's largest source of mined gold -- in the past 10 years production has doubled from 217 mt/year to 437 mt/year, according to WGC data.

"New gold investment products mean that medium term demand for bars and coins could reach close to 500 mt by 2017 -- a rise of nearly 25% above its record level last year," the report said.

China has become the world's number one jewelry market, nearly trebling in size over the past decade -- at 669 mt in 2013, it accounts for 30% of global jewelry demand. Estimates suggest that demand will continue to grow and reach 780 mt by 2017. There are now over 100,000 retail outlets selling 24 karat gold and thousands of manufacturers nationwide.

Official gold holdings in China totaled 1,054 mt at the end of 2013, making the country the world's sixth largest holder of bullion.

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Chinese Private Sector Gold Demand to Rise 25% by 2017: WGC
Topics: Chemicals