Gold prices rise amid China’s missing bullion mystery

Commerzbank forecast higher bullion prices even after 500-tonnes of gold ‘vanishes’ in China

Gold hit a three-month high on Tuesday morning, defying most expert views that 2014 would see further falls in the precious metal a day after a report revealed 500-tonnes of bullion is missing somewhere in China.

China’s love of the precious metal seem once again to be the main driver behind the current rebound in prices. China consumed 1,176 tonnes of gold in 2013, 41pc higher than in 2012, according to data released on Monday by the China Gold Association (CGA).

This was made up of 717 tonnes of jewellery, 376 tonnes of gold bar investment and 49 tonnes in industrial use. The remaining 35 tonnes was in coins and other items, said the CGA.

However, the CGA report, which cites a figure similar to the net gold imports to China from Hong Kong of 1,157 tonnes, has created a mystery surrounding what has happened to the country’s indigenous supply. About 500 tonnes of gold from Chinese mines and scrap is unaccounted for by the CGA.

According to brokers at Macquarie it “remains a mystery what happened to the other gold available in China”. The missing gold will again raise questions over the strength of demand in the world’s largest market for the metal amid concern that more gold is being traded on the black market. One conspiracy theory is that the People’s Bank of China is simply stockpiling gold off balance sheet.

Full article: Gold prices rise amid China’s missing bullion mystery (The Telegraph)

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