Beijing, Feb 7 (IANS) China’s annual gold output fell for the first time in 2015 due to lower prices in the global gold market, according to latest industry figures.
The country produced 450 tonnes of gold in 2015, down 0.39 percent year on year, Xinhua cited China Gold Association as saying.
International gold prices have shed nearly 40 percent since April 2013, squeezing producers’ profits and affecting output, the association said.
However, China remained the world’s largest gold producer for a ninth year running and saw gold consumption recovering last year, the association said.
China used up 986 tonnes of gold in 2015, up 3.7 percent year on year, compared with a 24.7 percent slump in 2014.
The association attributed the growth to a marked increase in gold jewellery sales and forecast the country would maintain its status as the world’s biggest gold consumer.
China’s gold reserve reached 1,762 tonnes at the end of 2015, the association said.