Chinese gold imports from Hong Kong totaled 51 mt in August, down 15% from 59 mt a year earlier, data released by the Hong Kong Customs and Statistics showed Wednesday.
Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.Register Now
The figure is down around 45% from 91 mt reported in July and is the lowest monthly volume since January. Physical demand in the world's largest gold consuming country has struggled this year with high international prices that are up around 25% year-to-date.
Gold averaged $1,341/oz in August, according to London Bullion Market Association Gold Price final settlement data, its highest monthly average price for three years, up marginally from $1,337/oz in July and around 20% higher than August 2015.
However, Chinese gold imports this year continue to outperform 2015. Year-to-date, gold imports from Hong Kong total 555 mt, around 15% higher than 482 mt reported in the same period in 2015.
Article Continues below...
When combined with imports from Switzerland to the Chinese mainland, using the most recent Swiss Federal Customs data, total gold imports into China for the year currently stand at 746 mt, up 15% from 648 mt for the same period in 2015.
Combined imports for August stand at 67 mt, 12% lower than 76 mt a year earlier.
The LBMA Gold price settled at $1,324.80/oz Wednesday morning, down $2.20 from Tuesday's close.
--George King Cassell, firstname.lastname@example.org --Edited by Alisdair Bowles, email@example.com