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Overall gold consumption rises in China

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(Kitco News) - China's gold consumption in the first nine months of 2021 rose a massive 48.4% on the year to 813.59 tonnes, according to the China Gold Association. This came as demand recovered from a pandemic-affected 2020. The figure implies third-quarter consumption of 266.54 tonnes, up 18.5% from a year earlier.

In terms of the supply-demand balance, gold production in the period from January to September fell 10% from a year earlier to 236.75 tonnes, the association said in a statement. This was said to be due to intense safety inspections in Shandong, China's top gold-producing province. Shandong Gold Mining, one of China's biggest gold miners, attributed a 1.3 billion yuan ($203 million) net loss for the first nine months to the sharp reduction in its gold output.

In October, Shandong Gold's production stood down around 10% versus year-ago levels, the company said in a filing, adding it was now aiming for annual production of 24.5 tonnes, versus 37.8 tonnes in 2020.

Looking at the reasons for the rise, jewellery sales during the Qixi Festival, China's equivalent of Valentine's Day, in mid-August, and the Mid-Autumn Festival in September.

The association said "The performance of ancient gold jewellery is still eye-catching," referring to a boom in demand for Chinese heritage gold items.

China's total gold output for January-September implies third-quarter production of 84 tonnes, down 9.5% year-on-year.

Overseas, however, China's gold companies lifted output of mined gold by 30.6% year-on-year in the first nine months to 26.9 tonnes, the association said.

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