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China sees strong gold demand in the first half of 2021 while India still struggles – Commerzbank

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(Kitco News) - Commodity analysts at Commerzbank are watching the growing divide in the world’s two largest physical metal markets.

China saw strong demand in the first half of the year. At the same time, India struggled with its COVID-19 pandemic, which weighed on precious metal demand.

Quoting trade data from the Chinese government, the German Bank said that nearly 31 tonnes of gold on a net basis was transported from Hong Kong last month.

“This was nine tons more than in May, and the second-highest figure since December 2019,” said Carsten Fritsch, precious metals analyst and author of the latest report.

Commerzbank noted that more than 130 tonnes of gold were moved to China from Hong Kong in the first half of the year. At the same time, more than 100 tonnes of gold were shipped from Switzerland to China in the first six months of 2021.

“China’s buying interest is likely to have been boosted in June by the significantly lower prices in the second half of the month after prices in China had still been trading at a noticeable discount on the international price at the start of the month,” Fritsch.

While China sees a pickup in demand, Commerzbank noted that Indian demand remains weak. The nation imported only 16.5 tonnes gold last month, an increase of 5 tonnes compared to May.

“The price fall in mid-June and the lifting of the coronavirus restrictions do not appear to have rekindled any buying interest,” Fritsch said. “Domestic gold traders have even been forced of late to grant more generous discounts on the local gold price.”

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