China’s gold consumption hit a new high last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing the China Gold Association. In 2013, Chinese consumers bought 1,176.4 metric tons of gold, a rise of 41 percent from the previous year and marking the first time the nation’s consumption has crossed 1,000 tons, the state-backed group was quoted as saying in a statement. The unprecedented level of Chinese purchases came as prices of the precious metal tumbled 28 percent to end the year at US$1,205.99 an ounce, its lowest level since September 2010, the Journal noted. The largest chunk of demand came from gold jewelry, with consumption in the segment rising 43 percent from a year earlier to 716.5 tons. Meanwhile consumption of gold bars rose 57 percent to 375.7 tons, the report said.
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