Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gold prices "unreasonable" should be $1,200 says China's biggest producer

On Sunday it was reported that Lan Fusheng, vice chairman of Zijin Mining, said “The gold prices currently are unreasonable.”

Zijin is China’s largest gold producer by output and China is the world's biggest gold producer with a fast growing output (Mineweb).

He said: “Prices have been boosted not only by people’s needs to hedge risks, but also by speculations” adding that a price between $1,200 - $1,300 was more sustainable over the next few years.

Lan Fusheng said that if the economic situation deteriorated he expected investors to seek refuge in the US dollar which would push down the price of gold.

He pointed out that high gold prices weren’t always good news for Chinese gold firms: “Rising gold price is good to company’s profit, but it makes overseas investment more risky and much more expensive.” If gold prices are high then so are the prices of gold miners.

Since 2009 Chinese retail investors have been encouraged to invest in gold. Only two days ago a piece in China Daily (US based) reported on the gold buying frenzy in China which is catching India as the largest gold market.

The piece quoted the World Gold Council's Marcus Grubb saying: “Gold demand is expected to remain firm through this year and next. Chinese consumers will continue to drive up gold demand as economic growth in the nation is still strong."

The piece said: “Earlier WGC predictions saw gold demand in China doubling by 2020, but there are now expectations of that happening sooner.” It added that the WGC “dentifies four key factors driving Chinese gold demand in a period of "ongoing global economic and financial uncertainty". These include gold investment being rooted in Chinese culture, impending inflationary fears in emerging markets, the country's central bank being positive on gold and limited domestic investment channels.

In August it was reported that despite increasing the amount of gold mined, this was outstripped by the level of domestic demand for gold.

Last month Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault pointed out to Gold ETF Investor that China had a high number of London Bullion Market Association registered gold refiners with applications for more in the pipeline.

ETF relevance? I don't know but if it's a genuinely held view or a state-sponsored aim its an alarming prospect for gold owners like me who bought far above the allegedly sustainable price!

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