by Koos Jansen, In Gold We Trust:
Friday the numbers were released on total Chinese gold demand for 2013. Total demand can be measured by the amount of physical gold that is withdrawn from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange. In the last full trading week (#52, December 23 – 27) of 2013 there were 53 tons of physical gold withdrawn, which brings the yearly total to 2181 tons. Yes, total Chinese demand for 2013 was 2181 tons, excluding PBOC purchases. All my sources in the mainland state the PBOC would never buy its gold through the SGE, so total demand including PBOC purchases may have reached well over 2500 tons. Which would imply total net import was 2000 tons (as I have written extensively about here).
Since November demand for physical gold has surged, weekly withdrawals have been above average, transcending weekly global mine production. Not only did we observe strong demand at the SGE, it was also perceived in an incredible shopping spree at jewelry shops around new year. From Want China Times:
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