MUMBAI, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- China may soon overtake India's position as one of the world's largest importers of gold, a global agency has predicted.
The demand for gold, both for jewellery and as an investment, has increased many folds in the world's second largest economy, Press Trust of India quoted the World Gold Council (WGC) as saying.
"China's demand for gold stood at 417 tonne in the first half, surpassing India's 383.2 tonne in the same period," said WGC India and Middle East managing director Ajay Mitra.
On the basis of current market trends, WGC expects China to overtake India as the largest importer of gold.
In the first quarter of this year, China's gold import stood at 136 tonne compared to India's 209 tonne in the same period.
China's jewellery and investment demand in the second quarter declined 7 per cent to 144.9 tonne from 156.6 tonne in the corresponding quarter of 2011, due to lack of direction of gold prices and slowdown in domestic Gross Domestic Product growth.
However, China's steady growth in gold demand is expected to resume in the third quarter as economic growth is expected to pick up following monetary easing implemented during the second quarter.
China is the world's largest gold producer and mines about 350 tonnes of the metal annually.