Chinese gold demand last year was worth $14bn, equivalent to 11% of global gold demand.
If gold demand continues to accelerate and becomes comparable with other major markets, the WGC says it expects it to double in tonnage within the next decade, which would represent an annual gold demand of approximately $29bn at year end 2009 average prices.
The WGC says if gold is consumed in China at the same per capita rate as India, Hong Kong or Saudi Arabia, annual Chinese demand could increase by 100 to 4,000t in the jewellery sector alone.
According to WGC data, demand for gold in China has increased at an average rate of 13% per annum.
The total gold investment demand in China has also grown in line with the country’s GDP and population during this period.