In the trading week from January 20 – 24 physical gold withdrawn from the SGE vaults accounted for 57 tons, this is the third week in a row SGE withdrawals have been more than weekly global mine production. In the first 24 days of 2014 withdrawals from the SGE accounted for 216 tons. With one trading week left this month it’s very likely January 2014 will break the all time record of monthly withdrawals, surpassing the 236 tons from April 2013. Is this the height of the Chinese gold rush?
Demand for gold has been strong due to the celebration of the Chinese lunar year, the year of the horse, starting January 31. Across the nation people buy golden gifts for each other, especially by these low prices. It’s quite clear now that the Chinese people will only buy more physical gold as the price remains low, or will further drop. They are not scared of a loss in value, as it has been in their culture for thousands of years to save in gold as a core asset. The young people, this is taught by the elder. After many years of economic suppression they regained their freedom to do so, being spurred by newly acquired wealth.
Bloomberg reported on a shopping spree in retail:
“Older people believe gold brings good fortune and keeps its value,” said Jiang, who left in search of another store because the small horse charms she wanted for her nieces and nephews were sold out. “Gold gifts for children teach them about investment from a young age.”
“Lower gold prices give an extra boost to demand,” said Yang Chunyan, an analyst at Orient Securities Co. in Shanghai. “Sales of gold gifts typically accelerate in the two weeks leading up to the lunar new year and have really taken off.”
Meanwhile, in some parts of Asia there is a scramble for safe deposit boxes at banks to store physical gold. According to a source in the mainland, January 7:
HSBC, Bank of China. Dah Sing Bank, Bank of East Asia, Shanghai Commercial Bank, ANZ, Citibank, Hang Seng Bank, NONE have available Safe Deposit boxes – all occupied and there is a waiting list.
Soon after he travelled to Singapore, on January 28 he wrote me:
Same problem with Safe Deposit boxes in Singapore. I opened an account with Standard Chartered Priority Banking today, for boxes they have an 18 month waiting list. I also tried DBS, OCBC, HSBC, Maybank, ANZ and Citibank, no safe deposit boxes available.
Overview Shanghai Gold Exchange data 2014 week 4
– 57 metric tonnes withdrawn in week 4 (20-01-2014/24-01-2014)
– w/w – 4.67 %, y/y + 39 %
– 216 metric tonnes withdrawn year to date
This is a screen dump from the Chinese SGE trade report; the second number from the left (本周交割量) is weekly gold withdrawn from the vault, the second number from the right (累计交割量) is the total YTD.
This chart shows SGE gold premiums based on data from the Chinese SGE weekly reports (it’s the difference between the SGE gold price in yuan and the international gold price in yuan).
Below is a screen dump of the premium section of the SGE weekly report; the first column is the date, the third is the international gold price in yuan, the fourth is the SGE price in yuan, and the last is the difference.