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Gold sales boom before Spring Festival despite price hike
Last Updated: 2024-02-07 08:00 | Xinhua
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BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- With the Spring Festival around the corner, gold sales continued to boom despite the soaring price.
At a well-known gold retailer in the city of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, consumers were snapping up New Year-themed gold products, including bars, necklaces and lucky beads.
"Buying gold jewelry for the Spring Festival is my family tradition," said a mother surnamed Zou. "I bought my son a necklace with elements of both dragon and gourd, hoping to bring him good luck and fortunes in the Year of the Dragon," she added.
Meanwhile, in Beijing Guohua Jewelry store a salesman said that their newly released dragon-themed zodiac gold bars had already sold out, with replenishment of stocks underway.
In the Xi'an Tumen branch of China Minsheng Bank, sales of gold bars increased by 50 percent in January 2024 compared with the monthly average of the second half of 2023. "Gold bars are selling like hotcakes," a staffer told Xinhua.
Chinese people traditionally open their wallets before or during the Spring Festival, buying costly items such as gold to convey good wishes for the new year. Sales figures indicate that the gold consumption frenzy has not been prevented by gold price hikes.
RMB-denominated gold prices have firmed at a high level in 2024, following a hike of 17 percent in 2023. Latest data from the China Foreign Exchange Trade System showed that the price of gold that is 99.99 percent or more pure stood at 479.11 yuan (about 67.4 U.S. dollars) per gram on Tuesday.
Zhang Yongtao, vice chairman and secretary general of the China Gold Association (CGA), said that during previous years, the majority of Shenzhen's gold manufacturers had already closed for the Spring Festival two weeks ahead of the festival. However, this year the situation is different, with many factories planning to operate until only three days before Chinese New Year's Eve, while planning to resume operations on the fifth or sixth day of the first lunar month.
"This indicates that an increasing appetite for gold persists around the Spring Festival, and this trend is expected to extend throughout the first quarter of 2024," said Zhang.
According to Zhang, the zeal for gold purchases has prompted gold jewelry producers to innovate in terms of design and craftsmanship, making gold products more attractive.
"China has become a key innovator in gold jewelry manufacturing," said Wang Lixin, the World Gold Council's managing director for China, adding that heritage gold and "China-chic" jewelry are gaining popularity among consumers.
According to data released by the CGA, gold consumption in China had reached 1,089.69 tonnes in 2023, up 8.78 percent year on year. Specifically, consumption of gold jewelry expanded 7.97 percent compared with the previous year, while that of gold bars and coins surged 15.7 percent year on year.
Jason Liu, head of the Chief Investment Office Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank Private Bank, remains bullish concerning the gold market in China, despite concerns that the high price may reduce demand.
Many countries and regions are expected to hold elections in 2024, adding further uncertainty to the global geopolitical situation. "Gold is expected to perform well in such a scenario as it is a relatively good safe-haven asset," Liu explained. 

(Editor:Wang Su)

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Gold sales boom before Spring Festival despite price hike
Source:Xinhua | 2024-02-07 08:00