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Cheap Gold Puts China in a Frenzy

Mainland Chinese tourists tempted by the plunging price of gold emptied Hong Kong's local banks and jewelry shops over the weekend of the precious metal.

With the price of gold falling 15 percent in 2013 after a steady 12-year climb, hitting a low of $1,321.95 an ounce on April 16, 2013, China has developed a voracious appetite for the metal, gobbling up more than 300 tons of gold [zh] over the course of 10 days, according to local reports.

Demand is so high that the Shanghai Gold Exchange Market had a record breaking exchange of 43 tons of gold in a single day on April 22.

According to London metals trader Andrew Maguire, 1,000 tons of gold has already been delivered to Shanghai in 2013 . In 2011, the total gold importation was 431.2 tons and 2012 the figure was 834.5 tons.

The rush on Hong Kong left the city empty of most of its gold holdings, according to blog Hong Wrong. Below is Apple Daily's English report on the phenomenon made available on YouTube:

Song Hongbin, a writer of the famous book series “Money War” (貨幣戰爭) in China, highlighted the impressive 10-day figure on popular microblogging site Sina Weibo:

业内人士透露:黄金412暴跌以来短短10天内,仅中国内地的投资人就鲸吞了实物黄金300吨,约占全球黄金年产量的10%!

An insider from the investment field revealed that since the drop of gold price on April 12, in 10 days Chinese investors have swallowed up 300 tons of gold, which is like 10% of the annual production of gold worldwide!
Weibo User Anson Feng was in Hong Kong buying gold last weekend and she what she saw in a jewelry shop in her micro-blogs.

Weibo user Anson Feng was in Hong Kong buying gold last weekend and she posted online a photograph of the scene.

His comment prompted much discussion, with some interpreting the frenzy as a sign of domestic crisis or a scheme to draw money out of China.

In Song's comment thread, “Ha Lou” (徽土豆) used traditional Chinese wisdom to explain the phenomena:

盛世藏古董,乱世抢黄金。

People buy all kinds of antiques in times of prosperity, rush for gold when they foresee chaos.

“Zhangnansen 1975″ (盗梦空间里的人) and “Beautiful water in West Lake” (西湖水美) believed that it is related to the failure of the stock market:

盗梦空间里的人:石建勋认为:中国股票市场没有投资价值,已经沦为利益阶层和权贵集团骗钱、圈钱的合法场所,老百姓已经被股市骗了多次了,心有余悸。目前老百姓手里有钱但缺乏投资渠道和品种,现在金价下跌,抢金子就成了老百姓必然的选择。

“Zhangnansen 1975″: Shi Jianxun [a professor of economics] believes that China's stock market has been left with no value because the privileged classes have turned it into their playground for cashing out money and so ordinary citizens who have been cheated many times still are afraid. Now people have money at hand but there is no where for them to invest. When gold prices drop, they naturally rush for gold.

西湖水美:想想07年股市6124跌倒5000点以下时,大家疯狂抄底,结果一直跌到1664.

“Beautiful water in West Lake”: Remember in 2007 when the stock market fell from 6124 to 5000, people went crazy to buy at the low price. However, eventually, the stock index fell to 1664.

“Lihua” (lihua088) and “Liu Jihan” (刘济寒) believed that the Chinese economy is strong enough to beat the world market:

lihua088:中国人 牛啊!

“Lihua”: Chinese people are awesome like bulls!

刘济寒:一吨黄金约2.8亿人民币,300吨黄金约840亿人民币。大陆居民储蓄超过18万亿。

“Liu Jihan”: The price of a ton of gold is about 280 million yuan (about 45 million US dollars). 300 tons of gold is about 84 billion yuan (about 13.5 billion US dollars). The total bank savings of mainland Chinese residents are more than 18 trillion yuan (2.9137 trillion).

“Future Silver — Xiao Chen” (银在未来-小陈) and “Small reunion” (小团圆92457) predicted that the eventual winners are investors in the U.S:

银在未来-小陈:美国政府和投行有意做空黄金白银,月初奥巴马和美联储官员见面,后来美联储把会议纪要提前发给一些机构和银行,高盛就开始唱空黄金,接下来黄金暴跌,这都是阴谋。黄金的定价钱是由美国控制的,改不了十年牛市转变熊市的格局,黄金将会再一次探底!

“Future Silver — Xiao Chen”: The US government and investment banks intend to sell out of gold and silver. Obama met with officials from the Federal Reserve early this month. The Federal Reserve revealed the minutes of the meeting to some institutions and banks, then Goldman Sachs started to forecast that gold price will drop and it drops. This is a trap. The US controls the gold price and we cannot change the trend that in the future 10 years from now, the bull gold market will turn into a bear market and gold prices will continue to drop.

小团圆92457:历史上,散户赢过华尔街的大鳄们么? 黄金已经不可能成为货币了。只是商品。

“Small reunion”: When did we see small investors beat down Wall Street Crocodiles [giant investment banks] in history? Gold is no longer a currency, it is just a merchandise.

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