Kunming, China — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 December 2009 – China “’ the world’s largest gold producer “’ may break records for both demand and output this year, as jewellery consumption soars and miners expand production after prices reached all-time highs.
Addressing a conference here, China Gold Association deputy secretary- general Zhang Yongtao
Revealed that Chinese gold demand might be more than 450 metric tonnes compared with 395.6 tonnes in 2008, and output might climb from 282 tonnes last year to 310 tonnes in 2009. China’s gold production had increased by an average 9.5% per annum in the past eight years, he added.
China overtook South Africa to become the world’s largest producer in 2007, and the World Gold Council said in July that the nation might pass India as the biggest consumer. Bullion had touched a record of US$1 195.13 an ounce last week as a weaker dollar drove demand for precious metals as an alternative asset.
“China is likely to become the number-one supplier and consumer of gold this year,” said World Gold Council investment research manager Rozanna Wozniak. Global jewellery demand remained weak in the third quarter, with China being the exception, according to slides provided by the council.
Bloomberg News reports that bullion, up 33% this year, is set for a ninth annual gain as central banks, pension funds and individual buyers seek to protect their assets from potential currency debasement and inflation.
Gold may climb to US$1,500 an ounce as the dollar falls amid low interest rates, said Graham Capital Management chairman Kenneth Tropin.