Brien Lundin, publisher of “The Gold Report”, provides the following insight into the increasing demand for physical gold in China:
The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), putatively a futures exchange, is actually a physical delivery mechanism for the Chinese market. Most of the gold traded on the SGE is actually delivered to end-users. As of the end of June, SGE reported nearly 1,100 tons of gold have been traded so far this year. That equates to all of the metal that had been traded on the SGE in 2012, which itself was a record year.
Put another way, at this rate of consumption, demand on the SGE this year will equal the entire newly mined global output projected for 2013. In effect, all of the new gold supply in the world is being consumed by a single exchange in a single nation.
China will soon exceed India as the largest source of gold demand in the world. There are demographic factors behind this: a deep cultural affinity for gold, a growing population and a rapidly growing middle class. The per-capita use for gold in China is still relatively low but has a lot of upside. As incomes grow in China, gold demand will grow on a per-capita basis even as the population grows. The potential for growth in the demand for gold is almost exponential.