Koos Jansen
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Koos Jansen
Posted on 21 Oct 2014 by

China Gold Association: 2013 Gold Demand 2199t

We now have official confirmation from the China Gold Association (CGA) that Chinese wholesale gold demand in 2013 reached 2,200 tonnes, in contrast to what all Western consultancy firms and news outlets have been reporting. On September 11 the China Gold Yearbook 2014 (that covers the financial year 2013) was released by the CGA on the China Gold Congress in Beijing.

As you can read below in the translation from a Chinese press release about the China Gold Yearbook 2014, the CGA states Chinese wholesale gold demand in 2013 was 2,199 tonnes; bullion import 1507 tonnes, doré import from overseas mines 17 tonnes and domestically mined gold accounted for 428 tonnes. (scrap supply must have been 247 tonnes)

Why the Western media don’t report on these numbers is “a mystery”. Remember the 1,500 tonnes net imported in 2013 by China exclude PBOC purchases!

China Gold Congress in Beijing 2014
Impression China Gold Congress Beijing 2014.

This was the setup of the China Gold Congress Beijing 2014.

  • Hosted by: the China Gold Association (CGA) and the World Gold Council (WGC).
  • Supporters: the People’s Bank Of China (PBOC), and more.
  • Strategy Partners: the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
  • Media partners: Reuters, and more.
  • Cooperate Partners: CPM Group, and more.

At 16:00 GMT+8, on September 11, 2014, the China Gold Yearbook 2014 was presented on stage by the CGA.


Too bad the Western media didn’t catch the content of this report, luckily the Chinese press did notice it.

The information the CGA publishes in English about Chinese non-government gold demand, 1,176 tonnes in 2013, severely understates true non-government gold demand, 2,199 tonnes in 2013, which is only disclosed by the CGA in the China Gold Yearbook 2014 exclusively published in Mandarin hard copies.

Cover China Gold Yearbook 2014 (yes I own a copy)
Cover China Gold Yearbook 2014 (yes, I own a hard copy)

This data is not a secret, yet the Chinese have been trying to hide it as much as possible and it looks like either they’re being helped by Western institutions, or these institutions are ignorant.

All Western institutions and press that attended the China Gold Congress have Chinese employees who can perfectly read the China Gold Yearbook 2014. Like I said, why these institutions don’t publish true non-government Chinese gold demand is “a mystery”. I can tell you this though, 99.99 % of the global financial industry uses the Chinese demand numbers from the WGC, which state 2013 demand was 1066 tonnes. From an investment point of view this can give you an advantage.

As always you have to make up your own mind, in this case on Chinese gold demand. Who do you believe? The WGC? Or the China Gold Yearbook 2014 that states total demand was 2,199 tonnes – data that has been confirmed numerous times by the SGE (as I’ve written here and here)?

Every institution or analyst around the world might use a different metric to measure Chinese gold demand, for me the most import facts that stand out are: China net imported more than 1500 tonnes of gold in 2013, mostly 1 Kg bars which we can trace back to Switzerland and the UK, domestic mining production accounted for 428 tonnes, which didn’t leave the mainland as bullion export is prohibited, and all this gold met non-government demand. Additionally, it’s very likely the PBOC imported another few hundred tonnes on top of the 1500 tonnes. Consider this, from The Death Of Money by James Rickards:

A senior manager of G4S, one of the world’s leading secure logistics firms, recently revealed to a gold industry executive that he had personally transported gold into China by land through central Asian mountain passes at the head of a column of People’s Liberation Army tanks and armored transport vehicles. This gold was in the form of the 400-ounce “good delivery” bars favored by central banks rather than the smaller one-kilo bars imported through regular channels and favored by retail investors.

Now please read the translation by my friend Soh Tiong Hum of the Chinese press release on the China Gold Yearbook 2014:

China Becomes World’s Largest Gold Importer At 1507 MT In 2013

September 11 , 2014

Source: China News Network

China News Network, September 11 (Reporter Liu Yuying) – Chinese Gold Yearbook 2014 released by China Gold Association on September 11 shows that in 2013, Chinese gold import grew 197.98%, to 1506.5 tonnes, thereby becoming the world’s largest gold importer. 

According to the Almanac, 2013 continues 11 years of growth in China’s gold demand with substantial increase in market volume by 92.65 %. Breaking gold demand of 2012 above 1,000 tonnes, gold demand reached 2198.84 tonnes in 2013, of which consumption increased by 41.36%, consumption volume exceeded 1,000 tons, surpassing India to become the world’s largest gold consumer. Based on this number, net investment is deduced to be 1022.44 tonnes, a substantial increase of 230.68 %.

Over the same period, China’s gold production was 445.4 tonnes. 428.16 tonnes came from domestic sources while 17.25 tonnes came from offshore. 

The 2014 almanac says that the increase in Chinese gold demand in 2013 was mainly investment demand, 80% of growth in gold demand came from growth in investment demand.

It is understood that China’s gold supply and demand balance is mainly met through increased imports.

One form of supply is from import of offshore raw materials and finished domestically; the other is direct import of finished ingots.

Commentary in the Yearbook claimed that China’s 2013 gold import nearly doubling is a very big change that has never happened since the founding of China. The reason why China became a destination for foreign gold was mainly because of profit drivers, because there is a premium for RMB gold it is profitable to bring gold to China. As Chinese dependence on foreign gold resources increases, this reality also requires the gold market to open its doors to outsiders.

Koos Jansen
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  • KoosJansen

    Testing Disqus comment section.

    • John Law

      test successful

  • alan goldspan

    Not sure why this should somehow be a big scoop to “the western media”. If the audience won’t care, the media won’t care. Gold was in a big media spotlight near the last paper top in 2011. Everyone knows Indians and Chinese like to buy physical. Most know that in 2001 US had 8k tons, Europe had 10k tons, and China had 200 tons in official reserves and from there the future direction of flow was pretty much a natural given. Starting from there, why/how would/could it possibly flow any other way. It’s not a huge scandal really or anything.. furthermore, on a per-capita basis it’s not particularly outrageous, you have 1.3 billion people buying 2 billion grams. As for accomplishing this feat without driving the price sky-high, major props to LBMA/BIS/IMF/Comex and Shanghai/HK/London/Switzerland I guess! ;) Quite the feat. Btw. I can’t recall, did you somewhere note China’s domestic mining-production figures in the same time-span?

    • Jay Taylor

      The point is, the paper markets are a fraud. How much longer can the LBMA/BIS/IMF/Comex fraud continue? The answer I suppose is “for a long time as long as manipulation of the paper price keeps westerners conned into being disinterested in gold.” But if there is some reason the “animal spirits” are lost from the whim and wishes of the establishment (like another massive global financial crisis) such that confidence is lost in the PH.D. standard, WHY WOULD IT NOT MATTER to westerners if all the gold on the face of the earth is held in the hands of those nations sick and tired of being ripped off by the owners of the U.S. dollar monopoly money?

      • alan goldspan

        The current paper markets are of course in a way “discounting the true and currently unknown value of physical gold”. You’re right it can continue for a long time but not forever. These price bets are incredibly cheap “admissions tickets to an exclusive club of private individual physical-bullion holders” when viewed from the future ;)

        Paper claim tickets on physical gold always inflate and can only last as long as “conversion into physical” is at a low percentage and can be covered by new mine production and private scrap/dishoarding supplies. It’s exactly like the old fixed-rate gold standards of the past, the breaking points were 1933 in the US (too many runs domestically) and 1971 (too many runs internationally). As long as not too many players didn’t convert their paper (at the already through paper inflation vastly discounted conversion rate), those few that did could be credibly serviced. Only in a crunch did the official rate need to be upvalued and/or the window closed. Now we have in theory a floating rate but the paper futures markets still offer a similar scheme and it’ll be interesting if/when they break. A ‘commodity’ that doesn’t get consumed/destroyed and where industrial/jewelry demand is minimal percentage-wise doesn’t really *need* any futures exchanges. Except they serve a useful purpose for both the US (value distortion vs. USD) and China (backdoor accumulation). We’ll see for how much longer, “as long as possible” as far as these two entities are concerned, “who cares one way or the other” as far as the other world central banks are concerned.

      • jj

        The first major currency to head south in a big way will be the catalyst that brings gold into the limelight for westerners as that country is forced to jump into the open market .. buying gold in a panic ..
        Japan first? .. jmo

    • Guy Christopher

      Have to disagree that “everyone knows Indians and Chinese like to buy physical. Most know that ……US had 8k tons, Europe had 10k tons…..”
      Actually, in the US, probably less than 1/2 of 1% of Americans have any idea which end is up, so there’s no evidence they know anything about gold. I’d have to wonder why you don’t feel this is a ‘big scoop.’ I read extensively about gold and Koos Jansen’s reporting is always news to me.

      • alan goldspan

        Fair points, Guy.. points taken. But as I said, if the audience won’t care the media won’t care. ;)

        You’re right inside the gold space (filter bubble) itself it’s quite a major news item and I appreciate Koos’ work or I wouldn’t be here. Guess I was just slightly perplexed at the implicit breathless “OMG the MSM will never tell the sheeplz” undertones but maybe I was overreading there. As far as Americans go, and I say this as a “westerner” myself, they can well stay ignorant on the topic as long as possible, it’s only fair after half a decade of “exorbitant-privilegue” that the overworked, underpaid “east” grabs all the physical they can at current prices before the game is revealed for all.. Thx for everyone’s thoughts =)

  • Silverbug

    Who cares what the US media reports. Nor should anyone care what the American investor does when it comes to Gold. It’s what the other 75% of the world population does. They are buying physical gold not paper promises.

    • DameEdnasPossum

      Or even 95% for that matter. The US accounts for only 5% of the global population…though sometimes it feels greater – much greater.


  • Silverbug

    Also when you know you have a sure bet you sit and wait. Apple investors waited almost 15 years before that stock took off. Its no different here. Its a sure bet. Socialism is dying. US is fading and along with that its currency. Debt is the ultimate destroyer. The higher it goes the greater the fall.

  • rowingboat

    Nice one Koos, and good to see your new blog established. Any update on the UK bullion export data? I’d suggest almost half of London’s net bullion imports since 2001 have been unwound by now.

    • KoosJansen

      That subject is quite high on my “to do” list.

  • B.

    Keep up the great work, Koos. Just stay away from office tower roofs and nail guns (LOL). We need you! I wonder if you are doing more to help market the Chinese gold industry than you realize. What are your thoughts on the downward ‘pressure’ on gold as simply the time being bought to allow China’s gold reserves to standardize with ‘other’ IMF reserve positions? Do you think it is possible that China could gain entry to the IMF’s SDR ‘game’, at their instructed reserve position only to announce later that they have substantially more? It seems crazy… but it also seems logical. Occam’s razor, Koos?

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