China becomes world's largest gold consumer

China overtook India last year as the world's biggest consumer of the yellow metal as retail investors bought unwanted gold from global institutional investors.

Chinese consumers became the world's largest purchasers of gold last year, overtaking India as they snapped up the yellow metal being sold off in droves by global institutional investors.

Mainland Chinese demand for gold bars, coins and jewellery rose 32% in 2013, hitting a record level of 1,066 tonnes. Indian demand meanwhile increased 13% year-over-year to 975 tonnes, according to the latest World Gold Council Gold Demand Trends report released Tuesday.

The retail consumer gold rush which led to 3,863 tonnes of gold bar, coin and jewellery purchases globally in 2013 contrasted with outflows of 881 tonnes from gold exchange-traded funds. The net result was a 15%...

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