Hong Kong’s net gold flow to mainland China rebounded last month from three-month lows in January, reflecting increased demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and as buyers took advantage of weaker prices, data showed on Tuesday.
Gold exports from the former British colony to China, the world’s No. 2 gold consumer after India, climbed to 97.106 tonnes in February from 51.303 tonnes the previous month, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed. (www.censtatd.gov)
The net gold flow from Hong Kong to China stood at 60.958 tonnes, after excluding 36.148 tonnes of imports from China, based on the data. In January, the net flow hit a three-month low of 27.336 tonnes.
“People were shifting gold to the mainland ahead of the start of the second quarter,” said a dealer in Hong Kong, adding that a drop in bullion prices also spurred buying from China.
China’s rising affluence has buoyed the country’s demand for the precious metal, with the net gold flow from Hong Kong to China hitting a record high of 557.478 tonnes in 2012.
Spot gold traded at around $1,573 an ounce on Tuesday, down 6 percent so far in 2013 after a 12-year rally, as investors shifted funds to better-yielding equity markets.
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)