by Lawrence Williams, MineWeb.com
People have been predicting that imports of gold into China would slow down – well August figures suggest they may have, but only by a minute 3 tonnes compared with a month earlier, and the country remains on track to comfortably exceed 1,000 tonnes of known net gold imports for the year, with a total of 723 tonnes imported via Hong Kong for the first eight months.
Extrapolating this over the full year would give a total import figure (via Hong Kong alone) of 1,084.5 tonnes. On the evidence of the past six months’ import figures, the full year total could be quite a bit higher if recent momentum is sustained – and there’s no real sign of it slowing down, at least not yet – it seems more likely that the full year figure could well end up at more like 1,150 tonnes. Certainly, in past years, imports have tended to rise as the year progresses, which means that even this number could be a conservative estimate.
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