Demand in China

magchinaGlobal gold demand fell 15 per cent in 2013 as huge outflows from physically backed investment funds outweighed record consumer demand, according to London-headquartered WGC.

By contrast to India, top buyer China is likely to introduce reforms to make it easier for consumers to access gold in the growing market, said Albert Cheng, WGC’s head of the Far-east region.

China made a string of changes last year, including granting approval to its first gold-backed exchange traded funds and for import licences to foreign banks for the first time. “It is a measure to make sure that there are more suppliers. I think there will be a further opening up of the market,” Cheng said, though he didn’t elaborate.

Chinese demand in 2013, which soared 32 per cent to 1,065.8 tonnes, was supported by significant growth of both manufacturing and the retail network, and that will continue this year, Cheng said.