About 150 tonnes of gold worth $8.5 billion at current prices is likely to be shipped following the green light from Beijing, four sources said. Two said the gold would be shipped in April and two said it would arrive over April and May.
The bulk of China's gold imports typically comes from Australia, South Africa and Switzerland.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, controls how much gold enters China through a system of quotas given to commercial banks. It usually allows metal in but sometimes restricts flows.
"We had no quotas for a while. Now we are getting them ... the most since 2019," said a source at one of the banks moving gold into China.
The size of the shipments signals China's dramatic return to the global bullion market. Since February 2020, the country has on average imported gold worth about $600 million a month, or roughly 10 tonnes, Chinese customs data show.
India's demand for bullion has also rebounded from a pandemic-induced slump, with record-breaking imports in March of 160 tonnes of gold, an Indian government source told Reuters this month.
India and China are the world’s largest consumers of gold. India’s demand collapsed in 2020 and China has been very quiet both about how much gold it holds and how much is imported. Those have been contributing factors in the decline of gold since the August peak.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top