Hong Kong exported 90.763 tonnes of gold to mainland China in November, an increase of 91% on the month. Its gold imports from China rose 23% to 27.681 tonnes.
HONG KONG(BullionStreet): The net gold flow from Hong Kong to mainland China in November hit its second-highest level in 2012 after April, adding to evidence of China's unabated gold appetite, which lent support to gold prices, Reuters reported.
Hong Kong exported 90.763 tonnes of gold to mainland China in November, an increase of 91% on the month. Its gold imports from China rose 23% to 27.681 tonnes, the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department said.
The total net gold flow in the first eleven months of the year, at 462.75 tonnes, already exceeded last year's total of 379.573 tonnes.
China does not publish gold trade data, and the Hong Kong trade numbers offer a glimpse of the demand for bullion from the Middle Kingdom, which is vying with India to be the world's top gold consumer.
"The picture is consistent with the overall idea that growth in China's gold demand has been a main driver of higher gold prices in past few years, and will quite likely continue," said a Hong Kong-based trader.
However, the gold inflow from China, possibly related to financing activities, could have distorted the data, traders and analysts have warned.
"The number is certainly very impressive, but there are all sorts of asterisks on this data series, which make it a bit ambiguous," the Hong Kong-based trader added.
Spot gold hovered around $1,710 an ounce in November, down from the year's peak of $1,795.69, hit in early October. It has since slumped further, to trade around $1,650.
"The lower price in November triggered a lot of buying, and this trend is continuing," said a Singapore-based trader.
Physical buying interest from China, as well as India and Southeast Asia, has picked up rapidly in the past few days as weaker prices attract bargain hunters, ahead of the Lunar New Year in early February, which is seen as the peak season for gold consumption in China and other countries in the region.