SHANGHAI (Scrap Register): Indicators hint that China’s holiday-related gold demand has improved from a year ago even though the Lunar New Year came earlier this year (Feb. 5, 2019 versus Feb. 16, 2018), said Standard Chartered.
“Shanghai gold premia firmed in January, the volume traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange was up 14% [year-on-year] and local prices have edged higher,” the bank noted.
Bar and coin demand was flat y/y in 2018 but still firm, driven by concerns over currency weakness and stock-market volatility; jewelry demand edged higher.
China’s gold imports from major hubs were up 16% y/y in 2018, suggesting an inventory build, but the introduction of 3D Hard Gold, which contains up to 50% less metal than traditional pieces, is likely to cap demand growth, the firm added.
Standard said it looks for Chinese gold demand to stabilize in 2019.