The world’s two leading consumers of gold continue to demand more. Gold imports spiked in India in August, building on a year-long trend, as gold also continued to flow into China.

According to the Times of India, 15.78 metric tons of gold were imported into India last month. That compares to 7.2 tons of gold imported in the same period in 2014, an increase of 119%.

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This wasn’t a one-month anomaly, but continued a year-long trend of increased gold imports into the country. According to Business Standard, gold imports in the first eight months of this year are estimated to be 40% higher than last year. Analysts predicted, “By December 2015, the total imports will touch 1000 tons.”

As we reported in July, the increase came at a typically lean time for Indian gold imports. Indian jewelry and gold stores continued to sell the yellow metal unabated in the summer months. Chirag Thakkar, director of Amrapali Industries told the Times of India that the import increase in June and July was somewhat surprising.

We had expected gold imports to pick up as prices went below $1100 per ounce of gold in international market in the first half of August. The imports picked up in last two months despite monsoon being considered a lean season for bullion traders and jewelers.”

Fall generally brings higher demand for gold in India.

“Demand in the market is expected to shoot up with various festivals and marriage season coming up,” Girish Choksi, city-based bullion trader said.

China also continues to gobble up gold. The Financial Times reported that gold imports to China from Hong Kong and Switzerland picked up in July.

In the first half of this year, total recorded exports of gold from the UK were 50 per cent higher than the first half of 2014, on a monthly average basis, according to Rhona O’Connell, head of metals for GFMS at Thomson Reuters. More than 90 per cent was headed for a combination of China, Hong Kong and Switzerland.”

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