China The Biggest: Gold Producer

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China does it again, this time on gold production. According to Forbes:

    “As it has done in many other manufacturing industries, China has made the most of its cost advantage to become the world’s largest gold-producing country, replacing South Africa.

    The news was confirmed by London precious metals consultancy GFMS when it announced on Thursday that China’s output for 2007 reached 276 metric tons of gold, or about 9.7 million ounces, a 12% increase over 2006 and slightly ahead of South Africa’s 272 metric tons. The GFMS figure came in slightly higher than an earlier estimate of 260 metric tons for 2007 by the China Gold Association, enabling China, which had been the No. 3 producer behind the United States, to end South Africa’s more than century-long rein at the top of the gold heap.

    Chinese analysts had long anticipated taking the No. 2 position from the United States in 2007, but the rapid decline in output in the traditional major gold producer countries has given China the title about two years ahead of its own expectations.”

The article notes that local production has grown by around 15 percent a year (against a global decline of 3 percent), and that there has been a lot of consolidation in the sector (now around 800, down from 1,200 in 2000). The market leader is China National Gold Group Corp., with 20 percent of all Chinese production and over 30 percent of reserves.

They will, no doubt, be happy to see where gold prices have been going lately…

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3 Responses to “China The Biggest: Gold Producer”

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