China surpasses India in gold demand in 2013: WGC

goldLast year China surpassed India to become the world's largest gold consumer, according to the latest World Gold Council (WGC) report.

According to figures published in the WGC's newly published 'Gold Demand Trend 2013' report, China's demand for gold hit 1,065.8 tonnes in 2013, while India's demand for the precious yellow metal slipped to 974.8 tonnes.

India's demand for gold slipped following a number of curbs imposed by the government to tame Indians' appetite for the precious metal. The Indian government took several bold steps, including hiking import duty on gold, because soaring gold imports were inflating the country's fiscal defict.

The year of 2013 marked the first time India lost its tag of the world's biggest consumer of gold. Previously in 2012, India topped the list with gold imports of 864 tonnes. China's total demand for the metal in 2012 stood at 806.8 tonnes.

WGC also predicted in the report that India will not return to the top position, at least in the current year.

Somasundaram P R, Managing Director of WGC India, said, "While China has put in infrastructure that was in favour of gold, India has turned away from it. In 2014, we are not seeing any role reversal."

As per London-based WGC's estimates, China's demand for gold in 2014 will be in the range of 1,000-1,100 tonnes, while India's demand is estimated at 900-1,000 tonnes.