China likely to overtake India as biggest market

China is set to overtake India as the world's biggest gold market this year, as rising incomes in the country fuel demand for the precious metal and the weak rupee diminishes Indian spending power, the World Gold Council forecastyesterday.

The amount of gold bought in China rose by a fifth in 2011 to 770 tons, still comfortably behind India's consumption of 933 tons. However, the council said it is "likely that China will emerge" as the world's largest gold market for the first time during 2012.

Worldwide, the amount of gold purchased rose by 0.4 per cent to 4,0671 tons worth $205.5bn (£131bn).