China gold imports soar six-fold on investment demand

Investors’ rapidly-growing appetite for gold has pushed up China’s gold imports six-fold in the first 10 months of the year, a Shanghai Gold Exchange official said on Thursday, highlighting the appeal of the precious metal as a hedging tool.

In a rare revelation of China’s gold trade data, which is not published by customs, exchange chairman Shen Xiangrong said the country imported 209.72 tonnes of gold in the first ten months of the year.

It looks as though both reports might be correct since they are comparing the first ten months in 2010 to two different time periods in 2009 – the full year in the first and, presumably, just the first ten months in the second. However you calculate the increase, that’s a lot of gold to be importing for the world’s number one gold producer.

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