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Oct 26 (Reuters) - China’s net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped nearly 60% in September to their highest level in five months, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed on Tuesday, as demand was bolstered by China Evergrande’s crisis and a dip in prices.
Net gold imports via Hong Kong to China, the world’s top consumer, stood at 34.786 tonnes in September compared with 21.804 tonnes in August, the data showed.
Total gold imports via Hong Kong rose to 41.877 tonnes from 24.549 tonnes.
“We saw large gold premium arbitrage imports in China. I believe this is only temporary and should ease off,” said Bernard Sin, regional director, Greater China, at MKS.
In China, premiums rose to about $12 per ounce in September, over global benchmark prices as buyers sought cover from the potential fallout from property developer Evergrande’s woes.
Lower gold prices in the international market as well as in local currency has attracted some more gold buying, said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann, adding concerns over rising inflation were also behind higher gold buying.
Spot gold fell 3% last month.
China held 62.64 million fine troy ounces of gold at the end of September, data from the central bank’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange showed.
The Hong Kong data may not provide a complete picture of Chinese purchases because gold is also imported via Shanghai and Beijing.
Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by John Stonestreet and David Holmes
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