The Chinese gold market continues to show signs of recovery after it was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese gold demand rebounded sharply in the first half of 2021 after plummeting in 2020, and imports remained strong in July, above 2019 levels, according to the latest data from the World Gold Council.
China ranks as the world’s largest gold consumer.
Chinese gold imports have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels and the world’s biggest gold market continues to recover.
According to the latest data reported by the World Gold Council, China imported 67.6 tons of gold in May. That was 65 tons higher than May 2020 and only three tons lower than May 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country.
China and India rank one-two in global gold consumption, and through the first quarter of 2021, gold demand charted an impressive rebound in both countries.
China’s year-on-year gold consumption surged 93.9% as first-quarter demand rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, official Indian gold imports hit the highest level in a decade in March.
There’s been some chatter in the financial media about the decline of the gold market. Gold is a relic of the past and crypto will replace it as the go-to safe haven and inflation hedge, according to some. But as host Mike Maharrey explains in this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, the demise of the gold market is greatly exaggerated. A lot of people still want gold. Mike also touches on the national debt in this episode. It’s even worse than most people think.
China has opened the door to billions of dollars in gold imports.
Reuters cites five sources indicating that Beijing has greenlighted the import of 150 tons of gold valued at around $8.5 billion at current prices. The report notes that China’s sudden appetite for gold could potentially “support global prices.”
China made a big splash when it rolled out its digital yuan and it got a boost when China’s biggest online retailer announced it has developed the first virtual platform to accept the Chinese digital currency. But China isn’t alone in exploring the possibility of digital money. Sweden has developed a digital currency of its own and the European Central Bank is pushing for a digital euro.
We’re told digital currency should replace unwieldy physical cash. It will be more convenient and help governments stop criminals. But there is a more sinister motive behind this government pivot toward digital currency.
Last summer, the Chinese government launched a pilot program for a digital version of the yuan. The virtual currency ups the ante in the war on cash and creates the potential for the government to track and even control consumer spending.
Last week, the digital yuan got a boost when China’s biggest online retailer announced it has developed the first virtual platform to accept the Chinese digital currency.
Global de-dollarization resumed in the second quarter according to data recently released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
While the dollar share of global reserves increased in the first quarter of 2020, it fell sharply in Q2, resuming a more than two-year trend downward.
Central bank gold-buying is expected to ramp up again in 2021 with Russia and China possibly entering back into the market.
Citigroup and HSBC Securities both expect an increase in central bank gold purchases next year after a drop-off in 2020.