* Big dealers waiting for prices to drop
* Anti-corruption drive could have hurt demand
(Adds quotes, details)
SINGAPORE Aug 25 China's net gold imports in
July from main conduit Hong Kong tumbled to their lowest since
June 2011 because the country already has amply supply from
shipments in earlier months, while jewellers are waiting for
The country's crackdown on corruption could have also sapped
demand in China, which overtook India as the biggest consumer of
the precious metal last year with imports topping 1,000 tonnes.
"I think the corruption drive in China is an important
factor. Nobody wants to show off their wealth," said a dealer in
Hong Kong, referring to President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption
"Also the economy in China is struggling. People who have
bought gold, do not want to buy more. The big dealers think gold
is pointing south, and that dampens speculative interest."
July net gold flows into China from Hong Kong dropped to
22.107 tonnes versus 40.543 tonnes in June, according to data
e-mailed to Reuters by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics
Total gold imports from Hong Kong fell to 38.945 tonnes from
56.047 tonnes in June.
Gold edged down on Monday, hovering near its lowest in two
months on a firmer U.S dollar and speculation of an eventual
increase in U.S. interest rates that could hurt the metal's
appeal as a hedge against inflation.
After falling nearly 2 percent last week, bullion attracted
buying from jewellers in Asia, but the amount was limited and
investors stayed on the sidelines.
"I think China has bought a lot of gold in the previous
quarters. They are just slowing down now," said a dealer in
On Monday, premiums for gold bars in Hong Kong rose to 70
cents to $1.10 to the spot London prices, higher than the 50
cents to $1.00 quoted late last week.
In Singapore, premiums were steady at 80 cents to $1 an
ounce to spot London prices.
(Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Tom Hogue)