May 10, 2013 07:39 PM

Graphics:Gold Consumption Jumps to Record High in Q1

(Beijing) -- As the price of gold price declines, Chinese consumers' appetite for the precious metal is growing. The China Gold Association said sales in the country set a record in the first quarter of the year, jumping 26 percent from same period last year.
Analysts expect that the country's consumption of gold will exceed 1,000 tons this year. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had predicted this would not happen until 2015.
Some 320.54 tons of gold were sold in the first three months, compared to the 832.18 tons sold all of last year when China surpassed India to become the world largest gold consumer.
Jewelry, bars and coins accounted for 95 percent of sales. Sales of coins increased 137 percent compared to last year's first quarter. Industrial and other uses of gold, meanwhile, were down slightly.
The Spring Festival typically marks the peak of gold consumption each year, but considering the drop in prices analysts predicted the shopping spree would continue in the second quarter.
China continues to lead the world in gold production, which rose 11.26 percent to 89.9 tons in the first quarter. However, this only met 28 percent of demand.

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