China is now the world’s largest gold consumer. According to the Thomson Reuters GFMS Gold Survey, the Chinese are increasingly buying the precious metal as an investment. Chinese demand increased by 32 percent within a year, reaching 1,189.8 tons in 2013, which marks a fivefold increase since 2003.
According to the report, the largest part of gold sales came from high purity 24 carat gold products bought mostly for investment reasons rather than as jewelry. “Gold has always been popular culturally in China, and now it’s increasingly seen as an asset class for individuals,” Andrew Leyland, the manager of precious metals demand at GFMS said to RT.com/Reuters. “Greater wealth and disposable incomes created pent-up demand when prices were high, so when they dropped there was this phenomenal surge in buying.”
China has also become its world’s major gold producer with total estimated output at 437.3 tons. This is more than 9 percent of 2013’s global supply.