China has just one thing to say to all those who engage in the now daily slamdowns of gold just around the time of the London fixing, after 8 am Eastern, which lately have gotten so vicious they have resulted in "stop logic" market halts not on one but at least two occasions, keeping the price of gold delightfully low for all those who instead of selling, are looking to buy: "thanks."
As the chart below shows, in the past two years since September 2011 (ironically the same month we wrote "Wikileaks Discloses The Reason(s) Behind China's Shadow Gold Buying Spree" namely that the PBOC was quietly seeking to make the renminbi the new gold-backed reserve currency) the mainland has imported an unprecedented 2,116 gross tons of gold from Hong Kong (in addition to the hundreds of tons produced domestically), for the first time crossing the 2k gross ton import barrier in a two year period!
Focusing on just the most recent import data for the month of August, seemingly unaware that all expert, hedge funds in the US have been "capitulating" on gold just because the momentum trade is no longer there, and because it somehow makes more sense to buy gold when the price is high rather than low, shows that China imported 131.4 gross tons of gold in the month, a 146% increase compared to a year prior, when the price of gold was substantially higher. Indeed, in a "shocking" turn of events, China actually buys more physical gold when the price is lower than higher. So much more, in fact, that August was the second highest gold importing month in history, lower only compared to March when it imported an unprecedented 223.5 tons.
But what about exports of gold, and China's net monthly gold needs. The chart below should answer that particular question. Net of gold export to Hong Kong, China imported 110.5 tons, the second highest net number in history, and second once again, only to March's 136.2 tons. Year to date, China has imported a gross 997 tons, and a net 741 tons. Since this accounts for just two-thirds of the year in the history books, on a gross and net basis, China will likely import over 1500 gross and over 1000 net tons for all of 2013: an absolutely stunning record in gold demand by just one nation.
Finally, putting all this feverish gold accumulation in perspective, here is the latest amount of official Chinese gold holdings as per the IMF. Incidentally, this is a number that has not been "updated" since April 2009.
The unofficial China gold holdings number since 2009 based on our internal calculations: about 2500 tons higher, which would make it the world's second largest official gold holder below the US and surpassing Germany, and rising at 100 tons per month.
Source: HK Census Dept