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China's gold imports via Hong Kong at 14-month low as lockdowns bite

:China's net gold imports via Hong Kong dropped about 59 per cent to their lowest level in 14 months in April from March, as demand in the world's top gold consumer was sapped by a slowing economy and widespread lockdowns.

Net imports stood at 5.231 tonnes in April, compared with 12.716 tonnes a month earlier, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data showed on Thursday.

Total gold imports via Hong Kong fell by 50 per cent to 9.616 tonnes, the data showed.

"With China's gold consumers in lockdown, jewellers struggled to give gold away. Hence, there was a reluctance to import more physical bars," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

Extended lockdowns in dozens of cities, including commercial centre Shanghai, have stifled production and consumption in China. The country's economy weakened sharply in April.

"Stringent COVID-19 related measures, spot market discounts discouraging imports, and slowing economic growth is not boding well for medium term demand. All these are also coinciding with a seasonal lull period in the second quarter for gold," said ANZ analyst Soni Kumari.

Gold in China was sold at a discount of as much as $10 per ounce to global benchmark spot gold prices in April.

The Hong Kong data may not provide a complete picture of Chinese purchases, as gold is also imported via Shanghai and Beijing.

China's net gold imports via Hong Kong hit 14-month low in Aprilhttps://tmsnrt.rs/3wQl95dimage/pnggraphics:graphic:1https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/egpbkwlzmvq/ChinaHKGold.pngPGFzc2VydCBxY29kZT0iR1hJRDplZ3Bia3dsem12cSI+PHJpZ2h0c0luZm8+PGNvcHlyaWdodEhvbGRlciBsaXRlcmFsPSJUaG9tc29uIFJldXRlcnMiLz48Y29weXJpZ2h0Tm90aWNlIHhtbDpsYW5nPSJlbiI+KGMpIENvcHlyaWdodCBUaG9tc29uIFJldXRlcnMgMjAyMi4gQ2xpY2sgRm9yIFJlc3RyaWN0aW9ucyAtIGh0dHA6Ly9hYm91dC5yZXV0ZXJzLmNvbS9mdWxsbGVnYWwuYXNwPC9jb3B5cmlnaHROb3RpY2U+PC9yaWdodHNJbmZvPjxpdGVtQ2xhc3MgcWNvZGU9Im5pbmF0OmdyYXBoaWMiIC8+PGhlYWRsaW5lPkNoaW5hJmFwb3M7cyBuZXQgZ29sZCBpbXBvcnRzIHZpYSBIb25nIEtvbmcgaGl0IDE0LW1vbnRoIGxvdyBpbiBBcHJpbDwvaGVhZGxpbmU+PGRlc2NyaXB0aW9uIHJvbGU9ImRlc2NSb2xlOmNhcHRpb24iPkNoaW5hJmFwb3M7cyBuZXQgZ29sZCBpbXBvcnRzIHZpYSBIb25nIEtvbmcgaGl0IDE0LW1vbnRoIGxvdyBpbiBBcHJpbDwvZGVzY3JpcHRpb24+PGluZm9Tb3VyY2UgbGl0ZXJhbD0iUmV1dGVycyIgcm9sZT0iY1JvbGU6c291cmNlIi8+PGNyZWF0b3IgbGl0ZXJhbD0iUmV1dGVycyIvPjxieT5Td2F0aSBWZXJtYTwvYnk+PGNyZWRpdGxpbmU+UmV1dGVyczwvY3JlZGl0bGluZT48YWx0SWQgdHlwZT0iaWRUeXBlOkdYSUQiIHJ0cjppc09yaWdpbmFsPSIxIj5lZ3Bia3dsem12cTwvYWx0SWQ+PGNvbnRlbnRTZXQ+PHJlbW90ZUNvbnRlbnQgaWQ9ImdmeGVncGJrd2x6bXZxMSIgY29udGVudHR5cGU9ImltYWdlL3BuZyIgZm9ybWF0PSJmbXQ6cG5nIiByZW5kaXRpb249InJlbmQ6YmFzZUltYWdlIiBoYXNjb250ZW50PSJmYWxzZSIgd2lkdGg9IjE2MTAiIGhlaWdodD0iMTA4OCIgaHJlZj0iaHR0cHM6Ly9maW5nZngudGhvbXNvbnJldXRlcnMuY29tL2dmeC9jZS9lZ3Bia3dsem12cS9DaGluYUhLR29sZC5wbmciPjxhbHRMb2MgdHlwZT0ibG9jVHlwZTpodHRwIiByb2xlPSJsb2NSb2xlOnNob3J0VXJsIj5odHRwczovL3Rtc25ydC5ycy8zd1FsOTVkPC9hbHRMb2M+PHJlbW90ZUNvbnRlbnRFeHRQcm9wZXJ0eSByZWw9ImV4dENwdFJlbDpoYXNVcmxTY29wZSIgcWNvZGU9InVybFNjb3BlOnB1YmxpYyIvPjxyZW1vdGVDb250ZW50RXh0UHJvcGVydHkgcmVsPSJleHRDcHRSZWw6aXNIb3N0ZWRPbiIgcWNvZGU9InN5czpDRE4iLz48L3JlbW90ZUNvbnRlbnQ+PC9jb250ZW50U2V0PjwvYXNzZXJ0Pg==GXID:egpbkwlzmvq

Source: Reuters

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