China gold imports fall in June on higher prices, inventories

China, the world’s top gold consumer, cut imports of the precious metal from Hong Kong last month as surging prices discouraged buyers and inventories had been fully replenished in May.

Net gold imports dropped 38.5% to 70.886 tonnes in June, down from 115.29 tonnes in May, according to data from The Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, published by Reuters.

China's internal demand outstrips local supply even though the country is the world’s biggest producer.

Gold has been the best performing major commodity this year, climbing about 25% to date. Despite the price increase, China’s gold consumption has been expanding as rising incomes and economic growth boost purchases of jewellery, bars and coins, especially post-Brexit.

The nation’s central bank has also been adding to its bullion holdings every month in a move to diversify its foreign-exchange reserves.

Internal demand outstrips local supply even though China is also the world’s biggest producer.