Residents shop at a jewelry store in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province on March 6, 2021. Photo: VCG
China’s gold consumption plummeted by nearly 20 percent in 2020 largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, but rebounded sharply in the first half of 2021, an industry report showed on Tuesday.
China consumed 820.98 tons of gold in 2020, down 18.13 percent or 181.8 tons from the 2019 level, data released by the China Gold Association (CGA) showed on Tuesday.
Despite the significant contraction, China remained the world’s largest gold consumer in 2020 for an eighth consecutive year.
Consumption for jewelry was down 27.45 percent year-on-year to 490.58 tons, while bar and coin sales were up 9.21 percent. Industrial use was down 16.81 percent, according to the CGA report.
The decline in consumption came with a decline in gold production. Still, China has been the world’s No.1 gold producer since 2007.
In 2020, China’s gold production was down 3.91 percent to 365.35 tons due to environmental conservation efforts and production disruptions from the pandemic.
In the first half of 2021, however, China witnessed a rebound in gold consumption of 69.21 percent to 547.05 tons due to macroeconomic policies that aimed at bolstering domestic consumption, the CGA said. Compared with the pre-virus levels of 2019, the annual increase for the first six months of 2021 was 4.49 percent.
During the same period, gold production in China continued to fall, contracting by 10.18 percent to 152.75 tons due to work accidents that disrupted gold mine output in gold-producing East China’s Shandong Province.
Globally, it is expected that demand for gold from the jewelry industry will rebound 37 percent this year, according to estimates published in a separate report on Tuesday.