China’s net gold imports via Hong Kong fell 9% in September from the previous month, mainly due to softer demand and possible measures by Beijing to prop up the yuan.
This is according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department which showed on Thursday that net imports via Hong Kong to China, the world’s top consumer of the metal, decreased to 11.829 tonnes in September from 12.997 tonnes in August.
Total gold imports via Hong Kong fell about 8% to 14.44 tonnes from 15.661 tonnes in August.
In August, China’s net monthly gold imports via Hong Kong had jumped nearly 61%, bouncing off their lowest in more than eight years in July.
A Hong Kong-based precious metals analyst at Refinitiv GFMS, Samson Li, said that the relatively low volumes could be attributed to lower demand and in part to China’s efforts to protect the yuan exchange rate from outflows.
However, “the central bank, PBOC, will likely release another batch of import permit in the rest of this year. We don’t know the quantity in terms of the permit, but once they release it, the import volume should pick up somewhat,” Li added.