Writer Koos Jansen, who specializes in Chinese gold demand and tracks official import and export reports, has calculated that China gold demand reached 418 metric tonnes for the first two months of 2014.
A recent report by Citibank that's making the rounds tries to figure out why the World Gold Council report on 2013 Chinese gold demand doesn't jive with the official numbers, but ends up not quite connecting all the dots. Jansen talks with the analyst who wrote the report, and uses original Chinese documents to fill in the gaps. He writes:
In my opinion this analysis is actually a step in the right direction; Citi acknowledges Chinese supply and demand was 2200. In 2013 SGE withdrawals accounted for 2197 mt, these numbers are clearly related. The formula for the Chinese gold market is: total supply = mine + import + scrap = SGE withdrawals = total (wholesale) demand. Simply because of the structure of the Chinese gold market. However, this is where Citi and I split up. I called Citi and I spoke directly with the analyst from the report. What surprised me was that this gentleman had never heard of SGE withdrawals! Hence our dispute.
If you're interested in a thorough analysis of the Chinese gold market and government policy, Jansen provides translated position papers from the movers and shakers that help shape the Peoples Bank of China's view on gold.