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