Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

China and India have the largest demand for gold in the world, however, two countries are getting a sharp downturn in demand for gold this year. Contrary to the situation in Asia, gold becomes popular in Europe. With many uncertain factors such as UK’s exit from EU, FED’s expectation of increasing interest rate cooling down, Italian bank industry’s predicament and US presidential election, the demand for gold in the west soars.

Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

Consumption decline in the two biggest gold importing countries

China’s domestic demand in physical gold slumped. Gold and silver jewelry sales in the 50 national key large-scale retailers fell by 20.9% in the first half of 2016, 22% below that of the corresponding period last year.

In the aspect of the consumption, the national gold consumption has diverged in the first half of 2016. The national total gold consumption was 528.52 tons, down 7.68% year on year, in which gold jewelry consumption 340.64 tons, down 17.38% YoY and gold bars 128.19 tons, up 25.33% YoY.

Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

India also showed a sharp drop in demand for gold, with the lowest imports for decades.

Due to the minimal domestic gold production, India is highly dependent on imports. In recent years, the country’s import mainly falls from 700 to 900 tons, reaching 947 tons in 2015.

Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

Since Indian government continuously imposed on import restrictions and taxes, India’s gold import totaled a mere 130 tons in the first half of this year, touching the lowest level in the at least last 20 years. India’s jewelry demand in the second quarter fell to 69 tons, down 56% YoY and net investment down 40% YoY.

Prithviraj Kothari, president of India’s largest gold dealer RSBL, said, “Nearly all the dealers and banks didn’t get little business in the past five months. It is difficult to adapt to Indian government’s changeable policy. At the same time, it is hard to bear a discount of 30-100 dollars per ounce.”

Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

Gold investment in the west rises up

Report from GFMS on July 26 showed a major increase in gold investment in the west, which helped offset the impact of falling demand in Asia in the second quarter. GFMS raised its estimate of this year’s gold price, in response to doubts on the economic prospects.

The report claimed that raising the estimate reflects the strong increase of gold price since the beginning of the year, as well as the market shift caused by the heightened uncertainty of economic and political future, including UK’s exit from EU, FED’s expectation of increasing interest rate cooling down, Italian bank industry’s predicament and US presidential election.

Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

The above concern has led to the warming curve on gold investment in the second quarter. The funding flocking to gold ETF offset the impact of decreasing demand of Chinese and Indian buyers, which eased the oversupply situation in the gold market. Total gold ETF inflow in the first half of this year has reached 568 tons, as the highest semi-annual inflow scale.

The situation in the second quarter of 2016 is similar to the first quarter in which gold demand in China and India is very weak, but very strong in western market, especially triggered by the consecutive demand of ETF in the second quarter, at the same time, the asset allocation got re-assessed and gold has been listed in a more positive place.

Gold demand is falling sharply in China and India

China and India will highlight Asian investment

On January 8th , the latest strategy report  from Julius Baer pointed out that Asia will continue to benefit from the favorable investment situation in 2015. The reason lies in the following three points: the long-term high correlation between Asian and European markets and the good prospects for the latter next year; the relatively loose monetary policy to be maintained by the world’s major central banks; the reasonable valuation in Asian stock market.

China and India will highlight Asian investment

The analyst in Julius Baer anticipated that China and India will become Asia’s best performing economies thanks to the diverse reform initiatives. Meanwhile, Japan’s performance can be expected as well, thanks to the local QE policies and the re-adjustment of pension allocation. In addition, the recent fall in oil price will benefit the economy in almost all Asian countries, enabling the government to apply the existing fuel subsidies to the fields that can enhance more the productivity, such as education and infrastructure, in order to further promote the long-term economic development.

Julius Baer emphasized that in addition to China’s A-shares, the other major Asian markets are highly correlated with the US and European market trends. Julius Baer Strategy Head Christoph Riniker predicted that next year the total return of the S & P index is about 4%, the return of the German Frankfurt DAX index is about 7%, which indicated that the overall market environment is quite favorable to the Asian markets. In view of the United States and Europe are the world’s two most important economies, the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank’s policies are very significant for the Asian economies and markets and currencies. The US FED led by economic liberals, the positive but not high economic growth and the low inflation have prompted the United States to launch the “normalization” process of interest rate in a slow and gentle pace. At the same time, the economic growth of the euro zone in 2015 forecasted at only 0.8%, the ECB’s loose monetary policy is bound to last longer.

A “BRICS Bank” to be launched

BRICS is planning to set up a bank together based on matching fund and equal right of speaking. The total fund will be $100 billion. The new bank may probably start lending in two years.

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BRICS Bank will highlight the growing influence of the emerging economies in the global financial landscape. This area has been long dominated by United States and Europe through IMF and World Bank.

China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa is expected to sign the agreement officially at the BRICS Summit, which is to be held in Brazil on July 15.

“The start-up capital of the bank is $50 billion and still needs to obtain legislative approval in these five countries. The new bank may start lending in two years.” said an Brazilian official.